This October 1st will mark exactly five years since Catalonia's self-determination referendum of 2017, and the Council of the Republic has called a rally at Barcelona's Arc de Triomf (5pm) to mark this historic day. Now, the pro-independence leader who was Catalan president when the referendum was held, and now leads the exile organization calling the march, has encouraged all independence supporters to attend this event to reassert the significance of the 1-O, the 1st October referendum, a vote he has described as a "deed worthy of being inscribed in letters of gold in the history book of Catalonia". From exile and in a video released by the Council of the Republic, Carles Puigdemont explains that during this last year of "repression, but also resistance", many Catalans have asked him what they can do for independence, and that he has always considered that in the face of state repression, the answer is "to maintain the position, to be there".
Now, however, five years after the referendum was held, Puigdemont has called on all supporters of independence to attend the rally called by the Council of the Republic, which will be "more important than people think". And the president has given two reasons why it is key, he believes, to re-assert the 1-O: "Not only to remember this feat, but also and above all, which is what some do not want to hear, to warn them of what we are willing to do, how far we are willing to go." In this regard, he insisted on the importance of Catalonia responding to the Council's call, in which he asserted that the exiles will also be "directly connected". "We will like to remember with you a historic day, but above all a commitment for the future", concluded Puigdemont in this video.
An event with broad pro-indpendence support
The Council of the Republic, which in September changed its name from "Council for the Republic", announced in July its plan to mark the 1-O and "stand up for the victory in the self-determination referendum", an event which has the support of the major pro-independence organizations such as Òmnium Cultural and the ANC, among others. In the press conference to publicize this rally, the Council of the Republic's Antoni Castellà celebrated that the event was being jointly promoted with other organizations to "give a message to the public that, in the essentials, we agree and that October 1st was a legal referendum and that the 'yes' vote won", a result they consider valid.
Already when the event was called, President Puigdemont wanted to give it his support, claiming that October 1 must be defended "against those who make them ugly. Against those who despise them. Against those who fight it since of the sewers", and "in favor of Catalonia and its people, in favor of the independence of the Catalan Republic, in favor of a future of freedom".