Catalan singer-songwriter and activist Lluís Llach has been scathingly critical of the Pere Aragonès government of Catalonia, stating that "it is shameful to have an autonomist government voted for by supporters of independence", referring to the Spanish regional system of autonomous communities. He made the comments while speaking to the weekend protest camp in central Barcelona organized by the Catalan National Assembly (ANC) as part of the campaign 'We accuse the Spanish justice system', denouncing Spain's lawfare against the independence movement. On Sunday afternoon, Llach, along with ANC president and vice president, Dolors Feliu and Jordi Pesarrodona, were the last to speak at the end of the two-day tent protest which attracted about a thousand people.
Lluís Llach defends a confrontationl position
During his speech, LLach argued for the importance of confrontation in the Catalan independence struggle, and criticized the resigned attitude in the institutions. "We have to understand that without confrontation we are people without power", warned the singer-songwriter, adding that "without confrontation, there is no negotiation, no hope for this country", and that, in addition, "the Spanish state is very calm." In this regard, he was scathing against the Catalan government for abandoning a confrontational stance "in an almost spectacular way", and leaving the independence movement "without tools". "How can you go to a negotiation with the state without confrontation?" Llach asked angrily, and exclaimed that "It's enough!"
Returning to emphasise points made in the previous speech, by human rights expert and Council of the Republic member Neus Torbisco, Llach warned that his experience is that in Brussels, Paris, and other around places the world, "people are convinced that Spain is negotiating". The singer-songwriter pointed out that this false idea is a "collective failure" and complained that with the current Catalan government, which "lends itself to a type of negotiation in which not even the problems of [the Catalan commuter rail system] Rodalies are discussed", it is impossible to convince Europe that the independence movement is in a "serious confrontation against the Spanish state".
Llach reasserts the importance of 1st October vote
The singer-songwriter also took the opportunity to reasserts the importance of the referendum of October 1st, 2017, a feat he defined as "the most important collective demonstration in Europe since the Second World War", and criticized that now "they want to cheapen it for us", alluding to the Catalan government's position, which does not accept the result as binding. For this reason, he insisted on the importance of mobilization and called on people to "take to the streets" so that "Europe looks at us with democratic respect".
"They want to make us forget the importance of the 1-O. Don't let them cheapen this symbol, it is your strength, it is your signature on the document we must sign for independence", exclaimed Llach, who also sought to stand up for role of youth in mobilization. "[Actions like] the airport are useful, Urquinaona too. And the young people have never failed us when they had to be there," Llach recalled.
To end his address, the singer-songwriter has shared a fragment of his song, "It's not that, comrades".
I, abans de marxar "a posar-se en formol", diu, ens demana perdó (!) Per voler compartir una cançó que diu que la va encertar: "No és això, companys, no és això".#NosaltresAcusem #NoÉsAixòCompanysNoÉsAixò pic.twitter.com/jcJ7LNsHV6— 🇺🇦Llamp de llamps! 🌊?? #ProuRepressió (@JoGuiHaddock) October 16, 2022
Lluís Llach's lyrics sung in the video, translated: "It's not that, comrades, it's not that / neither words of peace with garottes, / nor the trade that is made with our rights / rights that exist, that are not made or unmade / new prison bars in the form of laws."
Visibility to the anonymous victims of reprisals
On Sunday evening, the ANC closed its protest camp in Barcelona's Plaça Catalunya which, according to a press release, was a success with the participation of a thousand people. The action launched the campaign 'We accuse Spanish justice', which aims to focus Catalan public support to the Parliament of Catalonia for it to create a commission of inquiry into the general state case against the pro-independence movement.
Activities held over the weekend included colloquiums, debates, shows and the screening of videos ion the state's repression of independence supporters. There were appearance by prominent figures in the independence movement, as well as by anonymous people who have also suffered from the repression, but who have often not received the same support as the visible faces of the process.
The ANC president, Dolors Feliu, voiced her solidarity with all those who face anonymous reprisals and claimed that they needed to be given visibility. "They need our support, we can't pretend they don't exist," said Feliu, recalling that "they are our sons, daughters, neighbours".
The vice-president of the Assembly, Jordi Pessarodona, emphasized that the protest camp is the start of a series of actions to "support those who are fighting for national rights".