Thousands of people are already concentrated in Barcelona and participate in the pro-independence demonstration called by the ANC on the occasion of the Diada of September 11, although with the significant absence of the visible heads of ERC.
The demonstration, whose head started at 5:14 p.m. from Paral lel Avenue and headed for the Estación de Francia, puts to the test the mobilizing force of the independence movement, at its moment of greatest division, after the clash between the ANC and a ERC which, in an unprecedented decision, has distanced itself from the mobilization due to its critical approach to the dialogue strategy of the Government of Pere Aragonès.
In addition to the announced absences of the Catalan president, Pere Aragonès, and the ERC ministers, neither Oriol Junqueras, nor Marta Vilalta, nor other important leaders attend the demonstration, so that the former president of the Parlament Carme Forcadell will be one of the few visible faces of the party in the march.
Jovent Republicà, the ERC youth, will also converge with the ANC demonstration at the Estación de Francia, although sources from this youth organization point out that they share their party’s assessment of the call.
Those who have attended the demonstration have been the members of the JxCat staff, including the general secretary, Jordi Turull, the president, Laura Borràs, and ministers such as Jordi Puigneró or Jaume Giró, as well as Xavier Trias, former mayor of Barcelona, received by his companions with shouts of “mayor”.
The mobilization -which this year has as its motto “Tornem-hi per vèncer. Independència” (Let’s go back to win. Independence)- has already been losing steam in recent years: in 2019, the Urban Guard estimated the number of attendees at 600,000 and in 2021, coming out of the pandemic, they fell to 108,000, far from the records prior to the 1-O.
There is an indicator that may suggest that this year the figure may approach or slightly exceed that of 2021: according to the ANC, 240 coaches have been chartered to bring protesters from different parts of Catalonia, somewhat above the just over 200 coaches of the last year, although very far from the 1,300 of 2019.
At 6:30 p.m., at the end of the march, a political act will begin on the stage installed next to the Estación de Francia, with speeches by the president of the ANC, Dolors Feliu, the president of Òmnium Cultural, Xavier Antich, and the president of the Association of Municipalities for Independence, Jordi Gaseni.