By Associate Professor Kathryn Crameri. First published in The Australian.
13 September 2012
I say ‘marching’, but ‘attempting to march’ might be closer to the mark, because the streets were so packed that most people finished up just a few metres from where they had started. Despite this claustrophobic situation, the demonstration apparently concluded without one single incident.On Tuesday 11 September, an estimated 1.5 million people joined a demonstration in Barcelona, marching under the slogan of ‘Catalonia, the next state in Europe’.
11 September is Catalonia’s national day, and mass celebrations are common. Until this year, the most famous example took place in 1977, when more than one million Catalans marched for regional autonomy shortly after the demise of the dictator Francisco Franco. Decades after achieving that autonomy their cry has changed – ‘In-inde-independència’ – and there is little doubt that it has been heard loud and clear.
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