The Catalan president, Quim Torra, has repeated his government's commitment to realise the republic during his speech today for the Diada, the Catalan national day: "a shared republic which has to belong to all Catalans". Torra closed his speech, his first 11th September speech as president, with a "Visca Catalunya lliure!" (Long live free Catalonia).
In the institutional kick-off for the Diada, Torra recalled the prisoners and exiles pursued for defending the freedom of Catalonia and for having let the Catalan people vote on 1st October last year. He said: "this is a people which feels and wants to be free. Which has decided to have sovereignty over its destiny".
Torra evoked the Junta de Braços vote in July 1713, when Barcelona's authorities decided to defend "to the final consequences" a constitutional and parliamentary system which is one of "the oldest in Europe". He said that "like 300 years ago, we're at a new crossroads in the history of our country": "We have to decide whether, in the face of injustices, threats, fear, violence, the prisons and exile we acquiesce or resist and move forwards".
"What's fracturing is the absence of freedom"
The president gave a call to assert the truth and maintain "the good tone despite the insults and humiliations", but also to "live free with all the consequences", defending democratic freedoms "fiercely, passionately". "Freedom doesn't ever fracture, what fractures is its absence," he said.
His call for a permanent mobilisation was also present in today's speech, which didn't hide the complexity of the moment, likewise his call to not fall for provocation. "History teaches us that every time we've fallen, we've got up and set off again. And now we're doing it in a democratic, peaceful fight for civil, social and national rights. We're setting off again without ever abandoning our flags of dialogue, peace and words", said the president, who insisted that words and votes are the only tools they have, "our only bastions".
"To coexist is to live alongside each other and not some under the others," said Torra. For that reason, he urged the Catalan people to come together in defence of its freedoms and democracy, because "they're the only fertile ground on which well-being, justice, progress, quality of life and equality of opportunities can grow".