Common Dreams: If a Million People March for Catalan Independence in Barcelona, Do They Make Noise?

On September 11th, over a million people took to the streets in a European city that has, in recent years, become one of the more popular tourist destinations in the world.

And as anyone who has was there to witness the run-up to the event in recent weeks and months knows, this was no routine exercise in blowing off steam.

Marchers demonstrate during Catalan National Day in Barcelona September 11, 2012.No, this was a march in which nearly one fifth of the population of the Catalonian Autonomous Region —led by a who’s who of its long-cautious and decidedly non-radical political class—took to the streets to show support for the idea of seceding from the rest of Spain.

Most well-informed Europeans and Americans are aware that a sizable part of the population of the Basque Country–which straddles the Spanish-French border on the Atlantic end of the Pyrenees—do not consider themselves Spanish or French and would thus be quite content to have a state of their own.

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