The independence movement is set for yet another massive demonstration on September 11, Catalonia’s National Day. The main civic organizations supporting it called the protest on Friday with an ambitious aim: taking people to the streets to fill 6km of one of Barcelona’s widest and longest avenues, Avinguda Diagonal. The capacity of the area they want to cover is large enough for at least one million demonstrators, which would match the massive demonstrations held by independence supporters in the last six consecutive years on the National Day starting in 2012. All of them have been among the most numerous ever in the country.
In the 2014 March, the Avinguda Diagonal, along with another main road in Barcelona, filled with a 1.8 million-strong demonstration. It was in the run-up to the November 9, 2014, unofficial independence vote. The then president of one of the civic organizations, Carme Forcadell, demanded Catalan president at the time, Artur Mas, to hold the vote.
First demo after last autumn turmoil
Since then, a lot of water has flowed under the bridge. That vote was carried out in the end with volunteers, but three years later, on October 1, 2017, an actual referendum was held by the Catalan government without Spain’s consent. This, and the declaration of independence four weeks later prompted Spain’s judiciary to jail some independence leaders. Among them, Carme Forcadell, who had served as parliament speaker for the two previous years.
This will be the first pro-independence National Day demonstration with leaders in jail – and with Catalan independence having been declared, although not implemented. Indeed, in this year’s edition of La Diada host organizations ANC and Òmnium will demand the implementation of “the October 1 mandate.” The event’s motto is ‘Let’s make the Catalan Republic’ and its official T-Shirts will be the color coral. This was the color of the zip ties used to seal the ballot boxes in the October 1 referendum.