Sept 11 independence march arrives amid Spain’s actions against referendum
Some 450,000 people and 1,800 coaches already enrolled in demonstration
September 11 is a day marked in the pro-independence calendar for yet a sixth year in a row. Indeed, this Catalan National Day has hosted a march in favor of a Catalan state since 2012. The demonstration peaked in its 2014 edition, with 1.8 million attendants, according to Barcelona police corps. The protesters declined in number in 2015 (1.4 million) and in 2016 (around 1 million), but this year, the momentum could have come back. The march arrives at a key moment: only 20 days before the referendum planned for October 1, and with Spain already taking action against the vote.
450,000 already enrolled
As party politics enters unknown territory on the run-up to the October 1 vote, civil society organizations are expected to become more active in the streets and assume a greater role in the push for independence. “September 11 is the first phase of the October 1 vote,” said Jordi Sànchez, president of the pro-independence Catalan National Assembly (ANC). “If we're not able to mobilize a maximum number of people on September 11, October 1 will be weakened.”
"If we're not able to mobilize a maximum number of people on September 11, October 1 will be weakened"
Jordi Sànchez · Catalan National Assembly president
All sections of the pro-independence rally are already full. Some 450,000 people have sgned up for the demonstration and more than 1,800 buses are ready to transport protesters from all over the country to the event, according to the most recent data provided by ANC and other pro-independence organizations on September 11.
A giant plus sign
This year, protesters will form a giant plus sign at the crossroads of Barcelona’s Passeig de Gràcia and Aragó streets. They will be wearing fluorescent yellow T-shirts printed with the word ‘yes’ in more than a dozen languages — a reference to the result they expect in the October 1 vote.
The role of pro-independence civil society organizations is already going far beyond coordinating the September 11 demonstration. They are now calling for donations to a “solidarity fund,” towards helping pro-independence politicians who are being prosecuted for organizing a non-binding independence vote on November 9, 2014. So far they have gathered up €900,000 euros, as the president of an organizing demonstration said on Sunday.