Vicenç Villatoro’s Diary

As much as ever

Catalonia’s independence movement has lost neither heft nor diversity

Today’s celebration of the Diada [Catalonia’s National Day] —and, above all, the main march staged in Barcelona city— has been as massive as ever, as well as politically and socially significant. I’m not saying so as a response to newspaper headlines that were written the day before. That doesn’t matter. It underscores the most relevant feature of the Diada: its continuity is the symptom that reveals the chronic nature of the conflict. A massive rally that is, above all, non-partisan and broad-based: it brings together people from different generations, social backgrounds and parts of the nation, in what constitutes a genuine reflection of Catalonia as a whole.

Language diversity is a lot less present, but not entirely absent. There is even aesthetic diversity: you can come across a human tower, a Brazilian-style batucada and even a group of Scottish pipers in the same spot. Catalonia’s independence movement has not shed any of its diversity and human heft. Indeed, it is isn’t gaining any more, either. After such an eventful time, the conflict is still laid out in the same terms. It is obvious that secessionism hasn’t won, but it hasn’t been defeated, either. Anybody who believes that it has gone away or it’s on the wane needs a reality check.

It would appear that we find ourselves in a chronic problem scenario or, if you like, a chronic stalemate. Yet such scenarios can shift rapidly as a result of a jolt. For instance, the verdict in the case of the jailed Catalan leaders [which is expected in October].

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