REPORTAGE - One year after the failure of their bid for secession, a million people demonstrated Tuesday for the "national holiday" Catalan.
The independence tide was at the rendezvous. One more year, supporters of the Catalan secession have demonstrated their ability to organize one of the most massive events in Europe, without incidents or particular tensions. Diagonal Avenue, which runs through Barcelona's modern center, was packed with people on Tuesday afternoon. The highlight of the show, at 17:14 as is usual (in memory of September 11, 1714, which marks the fall of Barcelona against the Bourbon troops), this year was a sound.
From the north-east to the south-west of the Catalan capital, the sepulchral silence was broken meter after meter by the shouts of the demonstrators, following the axis of the Diagonal. The slogan "Independencia!" Became a long sound wave. Like an "ola" in a football stadium, but with hundreds of thousands of participants - a million, according to municipal police - and more than 6 km long, to symbolize "the strength of people". At the end of his journey, the sides of a canvas wall fell, "a reference to the obstacles overcome and still to overcome," indicate the official explanations of the organization.
"We are here for two things. First to establish the Republic which was declared last year. But also to claim the release of prisoners "
Side images, whose separatists are excellent purveyors, besides the blood and gold of the Catalan flag, the landscape was dominated by the rose. The color of the official t-shirts sold for 15 euros by the Catalan National Assembly (ANC), the great organizing association of the event. "Coral color", officially, in memory of the flanges that closed the polls in the unilateral referendum of October 1, 2017. The coral of the brides rather than the yellow of solidarity with politicians placed in pre-trial detention, the color that has been worn for years. months the separatists. "We avoided the yellow, because for our national holiday we wanted to focus on our ambition to make the Catalan Republic effective, explained Elisenda Paluzie, President of the ANC, a week before the holding of the Diada. Solidarity with the prisoners will be expressed during other mobilizations. "
La Diada 2018 marks the starting point of an intense political calendar in Catalonia: the first anniversaries of the referendum of October 1st, the declaration of independence of the 27th and the arrests of the leaders will prepare the ground before the beginning of the trials of the political leaders , accused of sedition and rebellion, crimes punishable by 30 years in prison.
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This year, the motivation was therefore double for the participants. "We're here for two things," says Carme, in her fifties, with her friends Victoria, Xavier and Carme. First to establish the Republic which was declared last year. But also to demand the release of prisoners, who have committed no offense and are locked up unfairly, "she accuses. "We thought this year it would be a celebration, but in reality it's a sad moment," she says. What is their opinion of the movement's political leaders, who, after proclaiming independence on 27 October, proved unable to put in place any tangible measure to transform the proclaimed Republic into a concrete reality? "I do not think they know what strategy to follow," says Victoria. We have to be patient. Last year, I was very optimistic. Now, I do not know how long it will take. But we, in any case, we will answer present! "
It is difficult to imagine that the same causes - massive and peaceful demonstrations - produce effects different from those observed since the beginning of the separatist fever six years ago - Madrid's refusal of a referendum on self-determination and relative indifference. of the international community. Asked about his roadmap during a meeting with the international press, the regional president, the pro-independence Quim Torra, said he wanted to "go from restitution to the Constitution". He considers that after the suspension of Catalan autonomy decided by Madrid on the evening of the declaration of independence, "the cycle of the recovery of institutions is complete. We are now preparing a constituent process that we will achieve through the establishment of a large civic and social forum. "
In the Planella family, arrived in number of Olot, north of Catalonia, the designated fifties caller on the international factor: "I think that Europe will eventually put pressure on Madrid. And for that, it is fundamental that Europe sees that we continue to invest the street. "
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