– Joana Raposo Santos
Hundreds of thousands of people gathered on the streets of Barcelona to celebrate Catalonia Day ( A Diada ) with a demonstration of support for the independence of this Spanish region. According to the independentistas forces, the concentration called by the Catalan National Assembly (ANC) was the “starting point” of other mobilizations planned for this year.
The organizers of the merger revealed that 460,000 people have signed up to participate. However, Guàrdia Urbana, a police force in Barcelona, communicated through the social network Twitter that if about one million people were on the streets.
Madrid sent about a thousand police officers to Barcelona in order to avoid incidents and no conflict was recorded. The demonstration began at Plaça de les Glòries and ended at Palau Reial de Pedralbes, which served as a stage for closing speeches.
Quim Torra, President of the Autonomous Government of Catalonia, called on the Spanish Prime Minister, Pedro Sánchez, and “the entire population of Spain” to apply “the maximum political intelligence” on the issue of independence.
“There can not be political prisoners and exiles. We ask the Spanish citizens to be aware of their sovereignty and to be in solidarity with the Catalan people. Let’s make an endless march. ”
Already on Monday, Torra had stated that the Catalan government “intends to make the republic a reality”. “Live in Catalonia free,” he said. Sánchez, on the other hand, has shown a firm stance against separation.
The Plenary of the Congress of Deputies will debate on Wednesday and will vote the following day a motion of the Catalan Democratic Party (PDeCAT) on the plans of dialogue between the Government of Sánchez and the Government of the Generalitat.
“Path without return”
Parliament President Roger Torrent said he felt satisfied with the Catalan people for taking to the streets to “claim freedom in a massive and democratic way.”
“We have to move forward. In the coming months there will be a political judgment against an idea, which constitutes a judicial fraud,” he said. “The dialogue that Pedro Sánchez talks about does not make sense, because the people he wants to talk to are in prison,” he added.
The ANC president, Elisenda Paluzié, was another of the personalities speaking during the demonstration. “We are now more aware of the difficulties we have to face to reach the top, but also of the imperative need to achieve it.
” We know that we are facing a state that, in order to repress independence, is willing to violate fundamental rights ” ”
Josep Maria Cervera, president of the Association of Municipalities for Independence (AMI), also spoke and made a point of reminding the detainee leaders of their imprisonment, thanking them for” strength and dignity to face the present and the future.
“” We celebrate this day demonstrating our ability to mobilize, “he said.” Our commitment is firm and the path we have begun has no return. “