‘Som el 80%’ (We are 80%) is a new platform launched on Tuesday by the grassroots pro-independence organisation Òmnium Cultural, with the objective of gathering together supporters for the right to decide and against repression.

The initiative aims “to be an expression of Catalan society, which is diverse and plural but which does not accept repression as a tool for solving conflicts” according to Òmnium’s vice president Marcel Mauri.

The new platform has the backing of a range of public personalities, including a number of former Catalan ministers and MPs from across the political spectrum, as well as figures from the cultural and academic spheres.

Call for a “broad response”

Using the case of jailed Catalan leaders as an example of repression by the Spanish authorities, Mauri called for a “broad response from the country in the face of an unjust trial” and he called on the public to help find a “real solution.”

“We invite everyone, all individuals, to join this camp for the freedom of the political prisoners and also for the solution to this conflict that is political,” he said, adding that ‘Som el 80%’ also aims to hold up a mirror to the state, which is “criminalising fundamental rights.”

Democratic rights and freedoms

The manifesto of the ‘Som el 80%’ platform defends democratic rights and freedoms, rejects repression and the use of the judiciary to resolve political conflicts, and argues for a political solution that will allow people in Catalonia “to democratically decide on their political future.”

While appealing to broad public support, the new platform begins with the backing of around a hundred well-known figures from different walks of life, including former Catalan ministers Antoni Castells and Andreu Mas-Colell, and figures recognized internationally such as Manchester City football coach Pep Guardiola, architect Oriol Bohigas and investigator on AIDS Bonaventura Clotet.