From Salses to Guardamar, and from Fraga to Maó, via Brussels

Catalan MonitorNews Roundup

Photo: Josep Guia’s banner for “peripheral Catalans” (Photo: Josep Guia, Twitter)

December 6th, 2017
By Pere Cardús

Tomorrow’s demonstration in Brussels may cause a sensation in the capital of the European Union and location of the EC institutions. That is of course the main objective of the promoters and the thousands of attendees who have undertaken the journey from villages, towns and cities all over Catalonia, by various means of transport. The origin of the demonstrators is mainly Catalan, since this is the epicenter of the independence process, but there is also a significant movement of Valencians, Majorcans, North Catalans, Menorquins and citizens from elsewhere in Spain. But why? Principally, to support a process which is about demanding democracy, the dismantling of the 1978 regime and the construction of a free Republic.

These ‘peripheral Catalans’, as a historic pro-independence leader, Josep Guia, has dubbed them, have set a meeting point, at the rally: “Valencians and other peripheral Catalans will be meeting at the north gate of the Parc de Cinquantenaire, which is at the confluence of the avenues of the Renaissance, the Chevalery and the Yser. “The proposal is to meet at 10.30 ‘to depart together to the demonstration’. Guia, one of the promoters of the idea of meeting to support President Puigdemont and his counsellors, as Catalans from outside the Principality, showed the banner that his bloc of supporters will be displaying during the march.

Elisabeth M., from Mallorca, came to Brussels yesterday. She arrived by plane, which was, he said, “full of people coming for the same reason.” Elisabeth wants to express her condemnation of the ‘injustice and fear’ that Catalans have lived through in recentn months due to the repression by Spain. ‘We have to make it clear to the European institutions that we are many, the people who want to respect the voice of the democratic majority in favor of an independent Republic,’ he says. She explains that he plans to meet family members in Brussels. “We will tale advantage of being here to stay for a few days and visit the city and its surroundings,” she added. This is quite common among those attending the demonstration with whom we spoke in recent days. Those who have come on their own rather than on an organized trip, will likely take a few days off for some touring around.

Elisabeth has reserved a tourist rental in a private house in the center of the European capital. On the other hand, David Garcia came yesterday in his van, from Sella (Marina Baixa) driving to Brussels via a stop in Barcelona, though he has no place to sleep in Brussels. ‘I have some friends who will help me find a place to sleep’, he says, carefree. ‘If I do not find any, I’ll sleep in the van, but it might be a bit cold’. David met fellow travelers on the roads. It is a way to reduce the cost. I did not know them before and picked them up along the trip across the central spine of Catalonia. “As a Valencian, I feel interrogated about supporting the cause of democracy in Catalonia. It is a question of citizenship and democracy. One day the Valencians will want to take a similar path and think that we must therefore offer support now.”

“In the same way that Valencians acclaimed Francesc Macià when he went to receive the vacancies of Blasco Ibáñez in Valencia on October 33, we are going to express our support for President Puigdemont in exile,” explains Josep Guia . “We support the Republic against the Spanish monarchy, independence against the retrograde and undemocratic realm. And we will also be in Brussels to assert the whole nation, hoping that the Republic will take our side when we are ready to move in the same direction. ‘

David Garcia read that there was a call for musicians to play instruments and decided to sign up. He is thirty-five and has already participated in a few similar calls for participation, and September 11th marches. Elisabeth, who is fifty-four, explained that she had also been to the last September 11th demonstration, because she thought she should not have to be fighting again as people had previously done against the Franco regime. “Let’s see if the European institutions begin to do more than they have done so far,’ she told us, as we were asked to turn our phones off for the plane to take off. Guia, on the other hand, is already in Brussels at this point, awaiting for arrivals of the Catalans in Brussels. He’s been there a few days, promoting the “peripheral Catalan” corps, and testing out the planned march route. His team, friends and family have been arriving by plane, coach and motor homes. Brussels will hear all the varying accents of the “llengua del bon dia” (language of the good morning).

Original Link: