The 60th anniversary of Òmnium Cultural, held in Elna (France) has managed to bring together Carles Puigdemont, Oriol Junqueras and the rest of the independentistas and charges who live in Brussels together with Anna Gabriel, a resident of Switzerland since the end of 2017. In an act loaded with symbolism – it was the first time that almost all the members of the Government of 2017 met – the president of the entity, Jordi Cuixart, has called for independence unity. “We will do it again. We will do it together and we will do it better,” he claimed.
Puigdemont-Junqueras, a photo that does not erase four years
The event brought together the express workers along with the “exiles” and the rest of the members of the Government of 2017. Although it was not planned, the former CUP deputy Anna Gabriel attended the event by surprise. Cuixart has claimed the entity as a “link” and “meeting point” of the independence movement and has stressed that the reunion between prison and “exile” is a “victory”.
At the end of the act, Cuixart has shouted one by one the names of the different former members of the Catalan Government, who have taken a family photograph on stage. Some 170 people participated in the event, including politicians, civil society and entities from both sides of the border.
The Òmnium leader began his speech by recalling that on the 16th – in that case, October 2017 – he and Jordi Sànchez entered the Soto del Real prison. “It seemed to us that everything was lost but it was not. It was the beginning of the reunion that we do here today,” he said. Cuixart has assured that this Friday’s act not only sought to commemorate the entity’s birthday but also wanted it to be an act of meeting “with all the reprisals and the exiles.” “We will not lose heart until they can return home,” he said.
Cuixart has also said that, despite the “fierce” repression of the “Spanish State”, the independence movement “can win” and only depends on them. According to Cuixart, this Friday’s act “confirms that the strengthening of the feeling of collective belonging is what has to make it possible to legitimize the decisions made by the people of Catalonia.” “We do not renounce to build the collective imagination,” he added.
“From Òmnium we want to reaffirm our commitment to language, culture, the defense of fundamental rights and the construction of the Catalan Republic,” he continued. “Do not leave us alone,” he remarked. However, Cuixart has warned that they will continue to be “demanding” with politicians and institutions, despite the fact that they will do so with “loyalty” and “generosity.”
At the end of his speech, Cuixart recalled how he felt when he entered the prison on October 16, 2017. He said that he was more scared than Jordi Sànchez but “convinced” that “there were not enough prisons to stop so much dignity.” And I was not mistaken, has riveted.
Almost all the pardoned prisoners attended the event: Oriol Junqueras, Joaquim Forn, Josep Rull, Carme Forcadell and Jordi Sánchez. Also the politicians residing abroad: Carles Puigdemont, Lluís Puig, Clara Ponsatí, Meritxell Serret and the surprise of the day, Anna Gabriel, who after more than three years in Switzerland has set foot in Northern Catalonia again. The ex-councilors Carles Mundó and Meritxell Borràs have also attended. The event closed with a family photograph on the stage in an image of union between “prison and exile” and the anthem of Catalonia.