11S: National Day of Catalonia

11th of September is the National Day of Catalonia. What Catalans commemorate on this date is the defeat of the Catalan troops towards the Borbonic army during the Spanish War of Succession. After months of siege on the city of Barcelona, the ultimate fall down of the city took place on the 11th of September of 1714. After that, Catalan territories fell under the reign oh Phillip V who, by means of the “Nova Planta” Decree, abolished all the Catalan independent institutions and prohibited the use of the Catalan language in the administrations.

Catalan demonstrators hold a huge Catalan Flag on March 7, 2009 during a demonstration of thousands in the center of Brussels, calling for the creation of a Catalan homeland encompassing all regions in northeastern Spain and southwestern France, where Catalan is spoken. The protest was organized by a nationalist plaform called "10,000 in Brussels" and members of two Spanish Catalan nationalist parties -- the Republican Left of Catalonia and the Democratic Convergence of Catalonia.  AFP PHOTO /DOMINIQUE FAGET

11th of September was declared National Day of Catalonia in 1980 and it is since then a Holiday. Official and solemn events are held in the Generalitat (Catalan Government) and the President, as well as representatives of all parliamentarian parties, honor the tomb of Rafael de Casanova, who was the last President of Catalan Council before 1714. The civilians used to commemorate the National Day with rallies in the main cities of Catalonia but something dramatically changed 4 years ago, in 2012, when up to 1 million people rallied in the streets of Barcelona. What had been a demonstration and celebration of just thousands of people, become a massive event and changed the way people of Catalunya celebrate the National Day. Now people don’t just commemorate the National Day, but they claim for the Independence of Catalonia.

National Day demonstrations since 2012

Independence demonstration

Upset for the cutbacks of the Spanish Institutions on the new Catalan Estatut (Catalan Constitution), which was approved by the Catalan Parliament and the people of Catalonia in a referendum, the Catalan people massive supported and initiative of ANC (a civil organisation for Independence) and rallied on the 11th of September. 1 million people gathered in a festive atmosphere under the motto: “Catalonia, a New State in Europe”. The civil and peaceful fight for Independence had started.

Via Catalana

On the following year, a new performance proposed by ANC had another massive response. On the 11th of September of 2013, Catalan citizens joined hands to form the Catalan Way to Independence, a 480 km human chain that linked the northern part of Catalonia with the southern part. More than 1 million people took part in it. It was a complete success and one of the largest human chains in history. Catalans living abroad also formed human chains in their cities of residence.

Catalan Way

2014 National Day will be remembered for the V-Shape demonstration that took place in Barcelona. Organized again by ANC, people gathered wearing yellow and red t-shirts, the colors of Senyera, the Catalan flag. The aim was to create a huge human V formed by an enormous Senyera and one more year, around 1 million people participated in the event. 2014’s main claim was the celebration of a Referendum for the Independence of Catalonia, something that the Spanish government radically refuses to allow.

11th September 2015

And… What will happen on the 2015 National Day? With the Catalan elections coming at the end of the month, ANC already imagines and Independent State and has proposed to represent in this year’s performance the main thrusts and values of the future Catalan Republic in what is called the Free Way. A color mosaic will be formed in Meridiana Avenue in Barcelona, each color representing a different idea on which the new Republic should work on. At 17h 14min, a huge human wave will paint the Meridiana in different colors in another massive event.


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