BARCELONA, Spain — On Friday morning, a major pro-independence Catalan group; Òmnium Cultural made a surprise action at the center of Barcelona, with the deployment of a giant banner reading “Democracy is the way: referendum”. Located in Pelai Street, next to La Rambla, the organization clearly points out to Pedro Sánchez the price to pay if he intends to be appointed and re-elected as Spanish prime minister. On this banner, the word “repression” is crossed out in order to show that this “is not the way”. This is what Òmnium’s president, Xavier Antich, pointed out to the media from the street where this message was displayed.
“The PSOE must leave “repression” behind and that the best solution is for “ballot boxes” to resolve the existing political conflict between Catalonia and the Spanish state: “Pedro Sánchez has to choose between respecting fundamental rights and offering a democratic path such as the referendum, or opening the door to a second chance for the far-right,” he said, in the event that the socialists again reject self-determination in a possible electoral repetition,” said Antich.
The banner which now hangs in Pelai Street is an addition to the communiqué shared by the pro-independence organization last Wednesday, where it encouraged “unity of action by the pro-independence movement to assert its strength and demand an end to repression, and exercise of the right to self-determination”.
“Pedro Sánchez will be committing a grave irresponsibility if he opts for an institutional blockade and paralysis in the face of the far-right’s advance, rather than attending to the legitimate democratic demands of the citizens. It is in his hands to avoid a repetition of elections and the choice is clear: fundamental rights and democracy or paralysis”, said Òmnium Cultural.
Xavier Antich added this Friday that “without Catalonia’s and the Basque Country’s votes, today there would be an overwhelming right and far-right majority in the Spanish state”, and for this reason he insisted that Sánchez has a “very simple dilemma” which translates into an end to repression and a referendum, or a second chance “for the far-right to condition the Spanish government”. Xavier Antich calls for “self-criticism” from the pro-independence movement.
In Òmnium’s statement on the results of the general elections, published last Wednesday, the entity already stressed that the pro-independence forces had obtained a “bad result” which they attribute to the “inability of all agents to work out a coordinated strategy and having ignored the voters and civil society’s repeated warnings since 2017”. “The pro-independence parties have continued to prioritize electoral, partisan and short-term interests over the collective interest,” they lamented.
This Friday, Xavier Antich stated “it cannot be ignored that from October 2017 until now a million votes have been lost” due to “unease and disappointment” among the pro-independence voters. For this reason, Antich maintains all pro-independence actors should be “self-critic” in the face of the latest election results.
Òmnium pointed out that organized civil society also has the “responsibility to recover and strengthen a democratic and effective mobilization that makes negotiation essential for a democratic resolution of the political conflict”, and it sees the September 11th Diada as the “first great opportunity to make it clear to the state’s powers that we will not live in normality until the citizens’ aspirations are democratically met, and fundamental rights are guaranteed”.
Produced in association with El Nacional En
Edited by Judy J. Rotich and Newsdesk Manager