It was expected, the answer of all those who refuse the independence of Catalonia. Two days after tens of thousands of people flocked to the streets of Barcelona to celebrate the independence proclaimed a little earlier by the Catalan Parliament, it is in these same places that the supporters of the unity of Spain had made an appointment this Sunday, October 29. Several hundred thousand people have mobilized, according to police figures, more than a million, says the prefecture and organizers. What is certain is that the mobilization has been massive.
The large avenue of Passeig de Gracia where the event was held was black Sunday afternoon. Catalan, Spanish and European flags, on their placards, their t-shirts, or in their hands, the demonstrators shouted throughout the gathering: “Puigdemont resignation” or “Puigdemont in prison“, but also” Long live Spain “Long live Catalonia” and “Long live the National Police“.
The mobilization took place without incident, in a peaceful and good-child atmosphere, under high security. The anti-independence from throughout Catalonia had family moving or friends. Like José Gonzalez, 55, came to eight people. He was wearing a hat with a bull, Spanish t-shirt and Spanish flag hanging on his neck. “I wanted to be here to be with all the Spaniards and defend the Spanish honor. I think it was a very important day for all Spain and especially for Catalonia. Because that’s what we wanted to claim, we’re all Spanish, nothing more.It’s important to be here today,” he says.
As for the position of Puigdemont, the protester believes that “he is in a bad position because it should not have gone to this extreme“. And he adds, “I do not think that’s the way to lead any country. I am in favor of Spain. Independence is never good anywhere. Because the only thing that can generate, they are problems, at all levels.”
The supporters of the Spanish unity gathered in the procession behind the representatives of the three parties for the maintenance of the region within Spain, that is to say, the Catalan socialist party, the center-right party Ciudadanos, and the People’s Party, the formation of Mariano Rajoy.
Many people followed one another in the gallery. Teresa Freixas, a specialist in Catalan constitutional law, wished to reaffirm the values and indivisibility of Spain.
We are here to defend freedom, to defend justice, democracy, the rule of law. […] We are Catalonia Métis, Catalonia Plural, Catalonia of all. We are all Catalonia, all citizens, and it shows. Long live Catalonia, long live Spain, long live Europe, long live the King.
The Catalan Civil Society Association, the coalition that convened the event, took the floor to call on the Catalans to go to the ballot on December 21 at the elections convened by Madrid.
The rally ended with the European anthem, the Spanish anthem and the song of the flag, a former Catalan hymn now used by the pro-unit movement.
The Cup denounces Madrid’s attitude
The Cup, the party radical independence, organized Sunday in Sabadell, not far from Barcelona, a press conference to denounce the use of Article 155 by Madrid. The deputies of the Cup also reacted to the demonstration anti-independence which took place Sunday afternoon. Carles Riera is one of them. While he welcomes the fact that citizens are coming out to the streets to express their opinion, he denounces the attitude of Madrid that would seek to create trouble.
“What worries us a lot is that the People’s Party, Ciudadanos, or even the PSOE have paraded alongside them, in their demonstrations, right-wing organizations from the Franco regime or Spanish Nazism. And in our opinion, this kind of event does not allow us to return the democratic image that all the events taking place in Catalonia should send back. Witness the various incidents that took place after the demonstration, caused by these members of the extreme right.They were violent in the streets of Barcelona. It is very important to emphasize this internationally. Independence, republicanism in Catalonia has always been expressed in a peaceful and non-violent way. And today is the”