When I read or hear the statements being made these days by unionist politicians or intellectuals calling for a "Diada for everybody", I always think they are statements made out of ignorance, bad faith or simply a desire to stir the pot. Because September 11th is the Diada Nacional de Catalunya - the Catalonia National Day - a day of protest by its very nature; it is not the day of Sant Jordi, characterized by books and roses and with a much more festive background. It is logical that those who don't consider that Catalonia is a nation don't like the fact that a National Day of Catalonia exists, and this fact alone means that part of the population doesn't celebrate the day as its own, beyond the fact that everyone likes a public holiday.
There are not, nor can there be, aspirations common to 100% of society and even less so given the political tension that exists in Catalonia today. The political parties have the right to not take part in the institutional events of the Diada, in the same way as many of the political groups (among them the Catalan pro-independence parties) decline to take part in the celebrations for Spain's national holiday on October 12th at Madrid's Royal Palace. The presidents of Catalonia and the Basque Country, for example, have not attended in years. And no-one responds to that by calling for an "October 12th for everybody", since all sensibilities do not fit under a single flag, a single culture, a single language and a single people. But, in addition, September 11th is a protest against the Supreme Court trial of 12 Catalan leaders, a denunciation of an unfair court case, a universal complaint against the unjust preventative prison and exile of the members of the government that led Catalonia in 2017, and an assertion of the right to self-determination. How can it be claimed that the National Day of Catalonia should not be like this? Should we act as if nothing has happened? As if the political autonomy of Catalonia had not been suspended, as if violent action had not been taken against those who went to vote on October 1st 2017, and as if individual and collective liberties had not been violated and the most savage repression since the end of the Franco era not been unleashed?
Because of all of this, as September 11th approaches, and even though it is the beginning of an autumn whose script is yet to be written, those who at the beginning of August were rubbing their hands with glee in the belief that this year's Diada march would flop are on the way to another failed prediction. There are reasons not to stay at home, and not just for those who organized their trip to Barcelona weeks ago or have already registered to take part in a given section of the rally. There are also those who have not even done so, out of laziness or irritation with one of the pro-independence parties or civil groups. On Wednesday night, estimates will be made of the numbers who attended, and for those not included in the count as a result of staying away, no ideological separation will be possible. It's a pity that once again Ada Colau has chosen to be grouped with the PP, Cs, Manuel Valls and the PSC because she does not feel called on to participate. It's an option, but it's also a way of understanding a little better the agreements that were made to decide the Barcelona mayoralty.
As it is every year, the Diada will be a thermometer, not of the parties, not of the civil groups, not of the institutions, but rather a gauge of the motivation in Catalan society. In each and every one of us.