‘Concert for the Freedom of Political Prisoners’ sells over 50k
The cold didn't deter audiences, whose ticket sales will go towards the Solidarity Fund for legal fees
The ‘Concert for the Freedom of Political Prisoners’ on December 2 was set to be massive from the start. Booked in the Barcelona Olympic Stadium with 55,000 tickets for sale, despite the sudden cold weather with temperatures hovering near 0°C, by noon that day the show had already sold 45,000 entries. Ultimately, the show sold over 50,000 tickets.
The concert was put on by pro-independence civil society organization the Catalan National Assembly (ANC). Until its president stepped down to run in the upcoming December 21 election, its highest ranking member, Jordi Sànchez, was incarcerated on charges of sedition, along with half of the Catalan government, and Òmnium leader Jordi Cuixart.
“We’re a country that fights through singing and sings while fighting”
Augustí Alcoberro· ANC vice president
The organizers expressed satisfaction with the sales, which will go towards the Solidarity Fund, already containing €4,550,000 towards €1.5 million in bail, fines, and legal fees for those involved.
“We’re a country that fights through singing and sings while fighting,” said Augustí Alcoberro, vice president of the ANC, adding, “today is an important day because we’ve once again showed that we have a lot of strength. We want to be free citizens in a free land.”
“It would mean I were home”
Testimonials from the family members of those behind bars such as ministers Joaquim Forn, Meritxell Borràs, Carles Mundó, as well as those of officials in exile in Brussels, including Carles Puigdemont. Puigdemont himself spoke in a video message, saying “I would love to be with you because it would mean I were home,” and continued “we’re showing once more how the Catalan people are, and we’ve done so for years with peaceful and non-violent demonstrations.” Other ministers deposed by the Spanish goverbment who spoke were Lluís Puig, and Meritxell Serret.
Meanwhile, family members and significant others read letters from incarcerated ministers like Meritzell Borràs, Carles Mundó. Finally, a letter was read from the former president of the organizing entitiy the ANC, currently held in a prison in the Madrid area, Jordi Sànchez, who warned that one must not think that “once we get out of prison everything will be solved.” The letter continued, “we’ve gotten to here with a collective compromise and by exercising without giving up the legitimate right to self-determination.”
Members from around 20 bands, including names like the Banda impossible, Doctor Prats, Oques Grasses, Itaca Band, Els Amics de les Arts and Elèctrica Dharma took the stage, playing originals or renditions. Indeed, the show kicked off with a heavy metal rendition of Catalonia’s national anthem, ‘Els Segadors,’ performed by A Sound of Thunder. The concert ended, hours later, with Monica Green with all the other participating artists singing the protest song ‘We Shall Overcome’ by Joan Baez.