A Citizen’s Guide to Greece 2015


September 5, 2013

Catalan Way Toward Independence

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Written by: Politis

A recent press release on the Catalan New Agency describes an interesting form of citizen activism.

“This coming 11th of September – which is Catalonia’s National Day – pro-independence supporters have organised the so-called ‘Catalan Way Towards Independence’ that calls for the independence from Spain. The gigantic human chain will cross Catalonia from North to South along 400 km and will pass through some of the main cities, such as Barcelona, Girona and Tarragona. The civil society platform Catalan National Assembly (ANC) is preparing this new massive demonstration after having organised last year’s 1.5 million-strong demonstration, which argued that Catalonia should become an independent state within the European Union. This year’s peculiar demonstration is inspired by the ‘Baltic Way’, which took place on the 23rd of August 1989 with two million people forming a 670 km-long human chain crossing Estonia, Latvia and Lithuania. The ‘Baltic Way’ requested the independence of the three Soviet Republics and was fully condemned by Moscow. However, it gathered international sympathy and has been praised on many occasions as a unique and peaceful demonstration fighting for the right to self-determination. In fact, the ‘Baltic Way’ organisers issued a manifesto that read “a common European home can only by set up if all European nations are granted a free right to self-determination”. During the weeks before 11th September, several human chains are taking place in Catalan cities and towns, but also abroad, in order to rehearse and promote the ‘Catalan Way Towards Independence’. Furthermore, those attending the main demonstration should register on a website in order for people to be effectively distributed along the 400 km chain. Three weeks before the event, more than 350,000 have already registered. On top of this, small human chains are being organised throughout the world to replicate the ‘Catalan Way’ in cities such as Rio de Janeiro, Buenos Aires, Edinburgh, Los Angeles and Rome. The ANC’s President, Carme Forcadell, stated this Friday, on the 24th anniversary of the ‘Baltic Way’, that the day after the ‘Catalan Way’, the exact date and question for the self-determination vote should be announced. Many independence supporters are pushing to hold Catalonia’s self-determination vote before the end of September 2014. However, the Spanish Government totally opposes Catalonia’s independence, its self-determination, and the organisation of a vote.”

The organizers have a Facebook page here.


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