If yesterday it was Barcelona that raised its voice against the Catalan independence trial, today the same cry has been echoed in Europe and Mexico. In the context of the "Make a Move" awareness campaign undertaken by pro-independence group the Catalan National Assembly (ANC), demonstrations have been held in Brussels, Copenhagen, Berlin and Mexico City.
The Brussels rally, called by the ANC's Benelux branch, was held on Sunday morning at the city's Gare Centrale. "Self-determination is not a crime" was the main slogan, and among those taking part were exiled Catalan ministers Toni Comín and Lluís Puig. About 200 people were present according to the Belgian police.
Manifestation organisée par @AncBru pour expliquer que l'autodétermination est un droit reconnu pour le tribunal des droits de l'homme. @UNPOINTL @assemblea_int #Makeamove #CapALaIndependència #LlibertatPresosPoliticsiexiliats #JudiciFARSA pic.twitter.com/kdcb3a4C7p— ANCBrussel·les🎗🇧🇪 (@AncBru) 17 de febrer de 2019
Demonstration organized by @AncBru to explain that self-determination is a right recognized by the Court of Human Rights — ANC Brussels
Speaking at the rally, former Catalan health minister Comín said that on the day that the trial verdict is announced, it was essential for people to mobilize with "much more intensity" than at Saturday's Barcelona demonstration. He also asserted that the game was "not over" and that "Spain must be shown" that "we are capable of defeating them, whatever unfair judgments they may deliver."
Exiled culture minister Lluís Puig spoke out about the European Parliament's ban on the conference planned for Monday by Catalan presidents Quim Torra and Carles Puigdemont. "We can't accept that a European Parliament castrates and tries to silence the voices of free peoples," he affirmed, in a speech that concluded with an appeal to defend the freedom of expression.
🎥 conseller @PuigGordi: "Demà al cor d'Europa, a Brussel·les, se sentirà la veu del president @QuimTorraiPla i la del president @KRLS, malgrat els impediments que alguns hi volen posar. No podem tenir un Parlament Europeu que vulgui silenciar la veu dels pobles lliures" pic.twitter.com/BlpnPAjrOa— Junts per Catalunya 🎗 (@JuntsXCat) 17 de febrer de 2019
Catalan minister Puig: "Tomorrow at the heart of Europe, in Brussels, the voices of Catalan presidents Puigdemont and Torra will be heard, despite the obstacles that some want to put in their way. We can't accept having a European Parliament that wants to silence the voices of free peoples" — Junts per Catalunya.
After the speeches, the traditional Catalan song El Cant dels Ocells was played.
Le « Cant des Ocells » a résonné aujourd’hui à Bruxelles. Émouvante manifestation pour dire non au procès politique des leaders indépendantistes et demander à l’Europe d’écouter car l’autodétermination est un droit, pas un délit. #17FBrussels #AutodeteminacióNoÉsDelicte pic.twitter.com/ytoeeZN5pR— Catalan Way (@CatalanWay_) February 17, 2019
March in Copenhagen
Denmark's rally on Saturday took place in Copenhagen's old town. The head of the march, whose slogan read "Freedom for Catalan political prisoners" in English and Danish, was led by the Danish MP Pelle Dragsted, democratic affairs spokesman for the Red-Green Alliance, who later tweeted about the protest:
Raising awareness in Berlin
On Saturday at noon, the Berlin branches of three Catalan independence entities (CDR, the CUP and the ANC) called a joint protest at the Brandenburg Gate, not the first time they have mobilized in the German capital. On this occasion, they set up a stall offering books and novels related to human rights and social upheavals. "What rights would you have now if no one had fought for them?" asked the protest's publicity, with pro-independence estelada flags and messages in support of the right to self-determination on display.
London, second consecutive Saturday
In the UK capital, a protest was called for Saturday afternoon at Picadilly Circus. Several dozen people held banners showing the police repression at the October 1st 2017 referendum and demanding the release of the Catalan prisoners.
This was the latest protest in a series that have taken place in London over the last week. Last Tuesday, as the Supreme Court trial opened in Madrid, an earlier protest was attended by several British MPs, and on the following day, around 50 MPs wore yellow ribbons in the House of Commons to show solidarity with those affected by the repression of the independence movement. Also in the Commons, Ian Blackford, SNP leader at Westminister, spoke briefly of the repression issue, while speaker John Bercow empathised with his imprisoned Catalan counterpart Carme Forcadell, following a question by Welsh MP Hywel Williams.
Protest reaches Mexico
One of the latest cities to join the Make a Move campaign has been Mexico City. ANC Mexico called on "democrats" to protest on Saturday afternoon in a rally against the "farcical trial" and in favour of the "Catalan political prisoners." It took place at the foot of the Mexican capital's Ángel de la Independencia, monument, which commemorates the country's nineteenth century War of Independence.
Those at the rally heard speeches against fascism and in favour of the right to self determination.
Campaign "around the world"
With the start of the trial in Spain's Supreme Court, the ANC has set in motion a "worldwide" campaign to expose the "trial of shame". In addition to the rallies in many European capitals and the three in the Americas (Rio de Janeiro, Washington DC and Mexico City), they have also created a website as an information resource and fund raising point. The Make a move campaign also includes an advertising spot showing the connections between Catalonia's right to self-determination and other historical struggles for civil rights, from the US civil rights movement to the feminist cause of the suffragettes; from the non-violent movement for Indian independence led by Ghandi, to the thirst for rights and liberty that culminated in the fall of the Berlin Wall.