"The Diada* is cold," say leaders of pro-independence political parties. "The division is having an impact and this year the Diada will suffer,” local ANC (Catalan National Assembly) sources say. "So much messing about, we are managing to demobilise our people," say pro-independence officials used to organising coaches. "That this should happen a few weeks before the release of the Supreme Court's sentence over the 2017 referendum in the trial against the Catalan government and pro-independence leaders is inexplicable," concludes a well-known pro-independence patum.
They are four different assessments of more or less entity but ones who have not missed any of the large pro-independence mass rallies that have been held in Catalonia since 2010. Nobody knows for sure wheher the momentum -to which the Catalan president, Quim Torra, was referring at the start of his mandate- will arrive within his term as head of the Catalan government. On the other hand, what is taking place is the confrontation of strategies and the disparity of views before an autumn that presents itself without a clear road map.
But it will all start on 11th September. For better or worse. The 11th September Diada is never just another mass rally: it is a measure of the pro-independence movement. It is a state of mind and a protest day. To date, there has always been unity. This 11th September the claim will have to pull from a certain feeling of defeat, mindful that those who expect the failure of the Diada find their best ally in the pro-independence division.
“It is the same every year and, in the end, people massively take to the streets on the Diada,” says a retired politician who had government responsibilities and ensures, angry, that he will not miss the protest. In an institutionally collapsed Spain, with parties unable to agree to form government and with the Catalan territorial issue as its true Trojan horse, Catalan pro-independence should do anything but falling into ridicule. And while deciding on which is the jointly agreed road-map, there is nothing better than exhibiting the strength of the movement and showing the world that pro-independence remains Catalonia’s central force.
*The Diada, 11th September, is Catalonia's National day. Since 2012, the ANC has, with Òmnium Cultural, organised large-scale rallies, attended by supporters of independence from all around Catalonia.