New York Times · Rallying Catalans to the separatist cause


The speech, before hundreds of thousands of pro-independence Catalans, was as straightforward as the seven-mile-long V for vote that the crowd formed along two of the main avenues of Barcelona, Catalonia’s regional capital.

“We will vote, and we will win,” the speaker, Carme Forcadell, a teacher and onetime local politician turned street activist, told the cheering demonstrators in September on the Diada, Catalonia’s national day. She stood on a podium with her hand raised and fingers spread to make a V, this time for victory.

While Catalonia is scheduled to hold a significantly watered-down referendum on secession on Sunday, the region remains far from breaking away from the rest of Spain. The vote has been fiercely opposed by Madrid and, after a ruling on Tuesday by Spain’s Constitutional Court suspending it, may not be recognized at all.

Under Ms. Forcadell’s leadership, the Catalan National Assembly has delivered “a stunning example of popular mobilization, without which the idea of Catalan independence would not have got as far as it has in two years,” said Josep Ramoneda, a Catalan political columnist.

In fact, Ms. Forcadell argues that Artur Mas, the head of the Catalan regional government, would not have converted to the secessionist cause and scheduled a ballot on independence on Nov. 9 without the street demonstrations she helped organize.

“Mas was not for independence, but he saw that civil society was going to trample over the politicians unless they climbed on board,” she said in a recent interview in the windowless office from which she runs the assembly.

Ms. Forcadell, 58, has got “a simple approach and a power to bring people together that most politicians don’t have,” said Pere Martí, a journalist who published a book on the assembly last year. “She speaks the way normal people speak, without adding any intellectual flourish.” […]

Read @ New York Times

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published.

You may use these HTML tags and attributes: <a href="" title=""> <abbr title=""> <acronym title=""> <b> <blockquote cite=""> <cite> <code> <del datetime=""> <em> <i> <q cite=""> <strike> <strong>