Catalan president in exile Carles Puigdemont closed the event that gathered thousands of people on Saturday on the esplanade in Perpinyà by calling on those present to prepare for what he described as "the definitive struggle", and for which it will be necessary to overcome "errors", and beat all "doubts and weaknesses". "You know where preparation, coordinated work and unity lead: to win," he said.
"As a people, we know it - and above all, they know it - we will no longer stop and they will no longer stop us. We do not have to wait for better times because they are already here," he proclaimed when he appeared on stage, enthusiastically welcomed by the thousands of people gathered.
Puigdemont expressed his message beyond claims for independence and assured that an independent Catalan Republic "is the only guarantee to put an end to a monarchical regime inherited from Franco, unjust and allergic to Catalan identity". And yet, he also wanted to pay tribute to those politicians who tried to overcome the situation before and were able to prove that "this is a sterile path, that the Spanish state only understands a mobilised people".
To make this mobilisation possible, however, he warned that preparation is needed, for which the Council for the Catalan Republic will have to take responsibility. "We have to get prepared by coordinating our actions, getting better coordinated among ourselves, getting organised throughout the territory, with a territorial network that takes control, we have to get prepared by fighting against the repression of the Spanish state from the network around the Council for the Catalan Republic, rejecting the monarchical regime born of Francoism and rejecting the abusive affairs of the repressive Spanish state", he remarked, warning that all future victories will only be possible by following this word of order.
Puigdemont assured that it has always been known that freedom was not easy and that the value of what has happened is that being aware of these difficulties there was conviction that it had to be done. "We have written on our skin the persecutions that have been suffered by one generation of Catalans after another, which is why we are standing here, not kneeling, with a firm desire for freedom that is not just a hope, but a commitment", he said.
The President ended quoting Catalan journalist and politician Antoni Rovira i Virgili when, leaving Perpinyà on the train that was taking him into exile, he wrote El jurament de l'exiliat (“The Oath of the Exile”) and began by acknowledging the support of Northern Catalonia. "Without fraternity there is no freedom, and today, you all here, and thousands of people stuck on the roads for reasons we all know are a sign of the power of fraternity", he explained.
Puigdemont thanked those who have made the event possible, the people of Northern Catalonia, the Catalan victims of repression for fighting for democracy, "from Oriol Junqueras to Valtònyc"; to the people who fight for freedom, and to all those people who are victims of the powers that be, such as the young people from Altsasu or Julian Assange - "who has helped us and is a voice for freedom of expression throughout the world, and so we say, please, do not extradite Julian Assange".