Once again, the Diada is upon us: Catalonia's National Day, commemorating the day that the city of Barcelona fell to the besieging forces of Bourbon king Felipe V on September 11th, 1714, will this year attempt to return to the pattern that was lost in 2020 due to the pandemic. Covid-19 is still with us, but the many acts and demonstrations that have been convened for the 2021 Diada - complete with provisions for social distancing - seek to once again draw out and re-energise the independence movement. Below we set out the mobilizations and events in the Catalan capital, where and when they are to be held and who has called them.
The 'Diada' morning
- Floral offering at the monument to Rafael Casanova. From 9am, as every year, institutions, political parties and organizations, pro-independence and/or Catalanist, will offer an offering to the Casanova monument (located at Ronda de Sant Pere, 41), the highest representative of the Catalan resistance against the Bourbon Siege during the War of the Spanish Succession.
- Arran demonstration. The youth organization of the pro-independence left, linked to the CUP party, will gather at 11am, in Barcelona's Carrer de la Ribera, in El Born. The march is planned to end at 12:15pm at the nearby Plaça Comercial, concluding with an event and speeches.
- Òmnium event with Jordi Cuixart. From 12 noon, the major pro-independence Catalan cultural organization will hold an event at Passeig Lluís Companys in Barcelona that will feature Òmnium president Cuixart himself and "several international personalities recognized around the world for their struggle for human, civil and political rights"
- Demonstration for the freedom of Pablo Hasél. The support group for the rapper whose jailing in February this year prompted almost two weeks of protests and incidents in the streets of Barcelona has called a mobilization at 1pm on Passeig del Born. The platform has called for "unity against repression, for the organization of solidarity and the release of political prisoners."
Floral offering by the Catalan government at the tomb of Josep Irla. From 1:30pm, the Catalan executive, led by president Pere Aragonès will pay tribute to Irla, a 1930s leader of ERC and speaker of the Catalan parliament who was one of those who led the Generalitat of Catalonia from exile during the Franco dictatorship. The tribute will take place at his tomb in the coastal town of Sant Feliu de Guíxols (Baix Empordà).
The 'Diada' afternoon
- CDRs rally. After weeks of inaction, the CDRs (Committees for the Defence of the Republic) will mobilize again on the occasion of the Diada. They will do so at a protest due to begin at 4pm in the Jardinets de Gràcia, the usual meeting place for these groups. "Fighting for independence is the only way to fight for social, national, class and gender rights in the Catalan countries! They want us silent, but we will raise our voices!" they assert.
- Donec Perficiam demonstration. The platform founded by former secretaries of the ANC has called a protest at the Plaça de l'Àngel, in the lower part of Via Laietana, at 4:30pm. An hour later, the ANC march is expected to pass through this same point.
- Patriotic Call event. Initiated by the small right-wing party National Front of Catalonia (FNC), the Patriotic Call has called for a rally for "the Catalan state" at 5pm in Pla de Palau - also a point on the route of the ANC's march shortly afterwards.
- Catalan National Assembly (ANC) demonstration. As it has done every year since 2012, the pro-independence organization has called a demonstration to celebrate the Diada. This year, the march will begin at 5:15pm in Plaça Urquinaona. It will head down Via Laietana and is expected to arrive in front of the Parc de la Ciutadella at 6:30 pm, where a political event will then take place, outside the Estació de França train station. This point will be the epicentre of this year’s Diada and political speeches from representatives of the ANC, Òmnium and the Association of Municipalities for Independence will be heard. The event will end at 7:30pm.
- Demonstration by the pro-independence left. This demonstration, organized by all the organizations that make up the pro-independence left, will also begin in Plaça Urquinaona. It will begin at 6:30pm and end at Plaça Comercial in El Born an hour later, where an event will be held with the participation of members of anti-capitalist organizations.
- Black Bloc demonstration. The hard left group has also set its sights on the Diada and has called a protest in El Born's Pla de Palau at 8pm. Anarchist, anti-capitalist and far-left groups are expected to attend.
- The Diada institutional event. The day will conclude with the institutional event (whose non-traditional poster has caused controversy) to be held under the Four Columns, above the fountains of Montjuïc. The 50th anniversary of Catalan cellist Pau Casals' speech to the UN will be commemorated.
Main image: Diada rally 2017 / Photo: Laura Gómez