Thursday, October 4, 2018

1 October, No Forgiving, No Forgeting

Catalonia’s pro-independence supporters march in Barcelona, Spain. Image credit: David Ramos/Getty Images 

Catalan pro-independence students take part in a sit-in protest at the Gran Via in Barcelona, northeastern Spain, Oct. 1, 2018. Image credit: EPA-EFE/Quique Garcia 

A pro-independence protest in Girona, north of Barcelona, Spain on Monday, Oct. 1, 2018. Image credit: AP Photo/Manu Fernandez

Tens of thousands have gathered across cities and towns in Catalonia to mark the one-year anniversary of the contested referendum on independence. 

Municipal police said up to 180,000 protesters gathered in Barcelona pushing for independence, AFP reports. 

Catalonia’s nationalist president, Quim Torra, made a symbolic visit to a polling station in the small town of Sant Julià de Ramis, where police prevented his predecessor Carles Puigdemont from voting last October. 

Speaking on Monday morning, Torra had urged the protesters to “keep up the pressure”. 

As part of the one-year observances across the region, activists blocked roads, motorways and even a high-speed rail line. 

The Catalan parliament was surrounded. 

And college and high school students boycotted classes and made emotional speeches at mass protests. They also filled Barcelona’s central square, waving yellow, red and blue separatist flags and chanting “1 October, no forgiving, no forgetting”. 

Nearby, others let off smoke bombs and fireworks. 

Catalonia held the vote on October 01, 2017 and its separatist government declared independence on October 27. But Spain's constitutional court deemed the referendum illegal and Madrid imposed direct rule. 

It remains a divisive issue. A July opinion poll indicated that 46.7% of Catalans favored independence and 44.9% opposed it.

Still, once the spark of independence is lit – the fire will surely flare up and rage!

Video still. Image credit: Webpage

In China, an ingenious woman on a crowded bus who couldn’t find any available handgrip, was filmed using a toilet plunger she had with her as a makeshift bus handle. 

The video purportedly shot in Huai’an City in eastern Jiangsu Province on April 25, 2018 also showed fellow passengers laughing at this quirky scene. 

A creative solution to a real-life situation. 

Yesterday, in the Champions League match against Napoli, Liverpool were a disappointment – nothing went right – and we handed victory to the Italian side, courtesy of an Insigne goal in the 90th minute. 

And I don’t have to tell you that we failed to muster a single shot on target.

On Tuesday, I showed up at the Witty Birds Toastmasters meeting. For me, it was a different experience and to add, a challenging debut as a speaker. 

Certainly, methinks, speaking in front of a real audience is much easier than speaking to a virtual audience! 

Still, a decent attempt – and I presented my Ice-breaker for my Competent Communication manual, round 50. I was evaluated by Ismail Omar:

Thanks, Witty Birds Toastmasters for having me!

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