Friday, September 14, 2018

The One-Million Strong Independence Rally

Giant Estelada flags were held by supporters. Image credit: Reuters

A mammoth rally in downtown Barcelona. Image credit: REX/Shutterstock

People held up the words 'freedom' and 'independence'. Image credit: AFP

The one-million strong march took place on September 11, 2018. Image credit: AFP

Riot police were ready. Image credit: Splash News

About one million people rallied in downtown Barcelona on Tuesday, banging drums and blowing whistles in a massive show of support for Catlan independence nearly a year after a failed attempt to break away from Spain. 

The annual “Diada” holiday is considered by many as Catalonia’s “national day” which commemorates Barcelona’s fall to the armies loyal to Spain’s King Philip V IN 1714. And since 2012, it has been used to stage pro-secession rallies in this wealthy north-eastern region that has its own distinctive language. 

But this year’s event had particular significance as a test of strength after a referendum last October 01 deemed illegal by the courts and the Catalan parliament’s unilateral declaration of independence on October 27, all came to naught. 

Still, divisions over the question of secession run deep in a region that makes up around one fifth of Spain's economic output and already has a high level of autonomy in areas including education and health, and its own police force. 

A July poll showed 46.7 percent of Catalans saying they wanted an independent state while 44.9 percent did not. 

And a separatist coalition won regional elections in December, although the fervently pro-unionist Ciudadanos emerged as the single largest party. 

It looks like a stalemate. For now.

Again, Team Malaysia triumphed when they defeated Team Switzerland 3-0 yesterday – and they are through to play France in the quarter finals. 

The WWTC 2018 has been good to us so far.

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