Today, Saturday July 10 at 18:00, it is expected that half a million Catalans will take to the streets in the centre of Barcelona. The slogan of the manifestation – originally proposed by Òmnium - is “We are a nation. We decide” (Som una nació. Nosaltres decidim.) while in the advertising it is a call to dare to “dream” (somniem) since “we want it all” (ho volem tot).
In the frontline we will see all living presidents of the Generalitat and behind them thousands of social entities (among them F.C. Barcelona) and officials from the political parties CiU, PSC, ERC and ICV-EUiA (together representing 82% of the Catalan population).
The purpose of the manifestation is to show support for the autonomy charter of Catalonia (Estatut) as of its original wording – as it was ratified by the Catalan and Spanish parliaments and approved in a referendum by the Catalan population. The fact that the Spanish Constitutional Court now – 4 years later – have reached the conclusion that several articles have to be changed or reinterpreted, is by many seen as a proof that Spain does not want for Catalonia to fit in. According to the final report, Catalonia must not call itself a nation, the Generalitat will not have the right to call referenda and Catalan can not be a preferred language in the education system and administration.
For us foreigners who voluntarily have moved to Catalonia and Spain and want to intergrate our families into the local context, these are not good news. We might think that we have experienced exaggerated nationalism on both sides already as it is, but that is, unfortunately, nothing compared to what will come now.
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I would have wanted to go to Barcelona tomorrow to take photos, but, above all for private reasons, will not. To bring two small children into a crowd of people this big is not very advisable, after all.
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The bloggers of Col·lectiu Emma are convinced Catalan nationalists and write in English. Here is their July 1 comment on the Constitutional Court's ruling, including a historic timeline of the whole Estatut process.