It is not very long until Catalans take to the streets once again to celebrate this year's Diada, the Catalan National Day, on September 11th. But, as the pro-independence Catalan National Assembly (ANC) has already announced, this year will see not only another massive independence movement rally on that day (as has occurred annually since 2012), but also, there will be a major series of mobilizations around the anniversary of the 2017 independence referendum: that is, on October 1st, 2nd and 3rd. Today, the ANC has provided some details on these last dates, summed up as follows: "On September 11th we will flood Barcelona. On October 1st, 2nd and 3rd we will mobilize the whole country!".
ANC president Elisenda Paluzie explained that "the fact that the 1st October falls on a Friday enables the actions to be extended until Sunday 3rd October" - also a key date in 2017 due to Catalonia's massive "national stoppage" held on that day. Thus, today, the events and mobilizations planned for the first three days of October 2021 have been made public.
Friday, October 1st
On the day on which Catalonia's self-determination referendum was held in 2017, events will be divided into three phases:
First, an event in northern Catalonia, on the French side of the border. According to the ANC website, in the early afternoon there will be "a political event to vindicate the role of northern Catalonia in the purchase, storage and distribution of the ballot boxes" - which were key to the ability to go ahead with the referendum.
Once that event is over, "a column of vehicles, led by a vehicle carrying 1st October ballot boxes, will go to Figueres." There, a concert will be held to conclude the day.
But not all the ballot boxes that arrive at Figueres will stay there: they will then be sent to different points throughout Catalan territory, where other political events are to be held. These locations will be directly linked to the referendum - "places where there were significant attacks or where the attacks of the Spanish state were prevented through imagination and creativity", the statement continues.
Saturday, 2nd October
The next day, three simultaneous marches will be held to "re-assert the 1st October and Catalan independence." Of these, one will take place entirely within Catalonia (from Sant Julià de Ramis to Aiguaviva, passing through the centre of Girona), while two will begin in other territories of the Catalan-speaking land: one, from Vinaròs (in the Valencian community) to La Ràpita, and the other, in the west of Catalonia, touching on the Franja, the area where Catalan is spoken in Aragón.
Sunday, October 3rd
Finally, on the morning of October 3rd, an event will be held in the city of Barcelona which will aim to "reunite all the organizations that made possible the events of October 3rd ".
The September 11th rally
This year's Diada rally will be centralized in the city of Barcelona and based on a march from Plaça Urquinaona to the Parliament of Catalonia. Speeches will be made outside the Catalan chamber.
This route, and the holding of a march which ends at the door to Parliament is symbolic of the pressure which the ANC wants to exert on the political parties. In fact, in the presentation of the events, the organization warns that Catalan society needs to be prepared for the time "when the dialogue route fails and/or there is a firm international court ruling, so that the political parties and institutions can be guided on this path".