Separatism takes to the streets: Mass rally expected on Catalonia’s national day

VilaWeb / ACN
11.09.2015 - 15:52
Actualització: 13.06.2022 - 09:51

For the third year running, Catalonia’s national day, this Friday, is expected to be marked by a great pro-independence demonstration in Barcelona. The leading separatist civil society groups, Catalan National Assembly (ANC) and Omnium Cultural, are organizing the rally, which has received the moniker of Gateway to the Catalan Republic (Via Lliure a la República Catalana). Crowds are expected to fill one of the longest, widest streets of the Catalan capital, Avinguda Meridiana, from the neighbourhood of Sant Andreu all the way to Ciutadella Park, next to the Catalan parliament.

The latest tally of participants, which the ANC made public today, is 450,000. To fill the length of the avenue there would need to be 485,000 participants. Although nearly half a million people have registered to take part in the event, the total number of participants is expected to be much larger, as happened last year, with 1.8 million demonstrators. The aim of the march is to highlight the will of the majority of the Catalan population to create a new independent state separate from Spain.

The entities Catalan National Assembly and Òmnium Cultural, which are in charge of organising the event through Ara és l’Hora (Now is the Time), have published a map showing the evolution in registrations along each stretch of the route.

While last year’s V-shape’s demonstrators dressed in red and yellow, symbolising the colours of the ‘Senyera’, the Catalan flag, this year’s predominant colour will be white. According to the ‘Via Lliure”, the colour white symbolises a blank page, a book that citizens have to fill with their wishes for the next country that will be Catalonia.

Different coloured cards in the shape of arrow pointers will be located all along the avenue, one for each of the ‘10 concepts’ that have formed the core of ‘Ara és l’hora’ (‘Now is the time’), the ANC and Òmnium Cultural’s summer campaign for the Catalan elections scheduled for the 27th of September. These 10 concepts represent key values that the new independent Catalonia must guarantee. The colours will be distributed as follows: yellow for democracy, blue for regional balance, red for solidarity, sky blue for openness to the world, green for diversity, dark green for sustainability, purple for equality, brown for welfare and social justice, pink for innovation, and orange for culture and education. The aim is to turn Meridiana Avenue into a massive mosaic where all the sectors of society have their place and build the shape of a big pointer leading to the Catalan Parliament.
The ‘Gateway to the Catalan Republic’ will be divided into 135 stretches, the same number as the total number of representatives sitting in the Catalan Parliament.

Electoral campaign kicks off

Catalonia’s national day also marks the start of the campaign for the elections to the Catalan parliament on 27 September. The independence movement sees this election as a plebiscite on Catalan independence from Spain. The candidacies which have given their explicit support to breaking away from Spain are Junts pel Sí (a coalition formed by CDC, the governing party, and ERC) and CUP, a left-wing party. Polls published so far predict an absolute majority for the pro-independence faction, with the sum of parliamentary seats won by Junts pel Sí and CUP exceeding 68, the number of seats that separatist parties contend would constitute an ample majority that would enable them to declare independence.


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