Of the many speeches that have been heard over the last few days during the acts held to mark the year that has gone by since Oriol Junqueras and Quim Forn were unjustly imprisoned - a deprivation of liberty also undergone by the Jordis (Sànchez i Cuixart), government ministers Rull, Turull, Romeva and Bassa and the former speaker of Parliament, Carme Forcadell - none have resounded with the force of that by Catalan musician Lluís Llach, who is a moral reference point for independence movement. Llach, himself a former parliamentary deputy, appealed from the rostrum installed outside Lledoners prison to the strategic unity of the independence movement with a strength and conviction that left no-one indifferent. His emotive final words, "We demand this of you! We demand this of you! We demand this of you!", spoken in an imperative tone, permeated through the prison walls as well as echoing all the way to the European cities where members of the Catalan government are in exile.
It's possible that we are not far away from the turning point in the sordid disagreement that Carles Puigdemont and Oriol Junqueras have maintained for a long time. There are people working very hard on this, aware that there can be no progress toward the strategic unity of the independence movement if it isn't possible to heal the wounds opened between the two political leaders. It is necessary to turn a page and move on as quickly as possible from a tortuous year without a clear course and without a political initiative capable of inspiring the two million voters appalled by the massive jail sentences demanded by prosecutors for the Catalan political prisoners and senior interior ministry officials. And this can only be achieved through the same unity of action which allowed the referendum to be held on October 1st.
In a book focusing on Oriol Junqueras which is about to be published, entitled Fins que siguem lliures - "Until we are free" (Ara Llibres), author Sergi Sol relates the importance of the good understanding between Puigdemont and Junqueras in the moments when key decisions were to be taken by the Catalan government. Sergi Sol is not a neutral observer - as Raül Romeva emphasizes in the book's prologue and Xavier Vendrell in its epilogue - and his proximity to Junqueras has given him access to a lot of information as well as influence in many decisions. This makes the leadership role that Sol attributes to Puigdemont more significant, acknowedging that without his presence at the head of the government in this decisive period, many things could not have been achieved. Nor is he sparing in his praise of, for example, ministers Forn, Turull and Rull, all three of whom belong to a political formation which is not his own.
Getting out of a hole in which where there is only division, leaving behind depression, preparing for the trials when independence will be able to counterpose its own peaceful case with the state's invented narrative, agreeing on the key points with which to lever the times ahead and, once and for all, making policy in accordance with the majority that exists in the Catalan Parliament is no longer just an objective. It is an urgent need.