A lot of people ask me what is going on in Catalonia about the independence. Why Catalonia wants to be independent? Some think, that the country has woken up one day and all the movement began. But independence goes far beyond that and the feeling of the nation starts long ago.

One of the crucial moments in history for Catalans was Franco's regime, Catalan culture was banned, our language could not be spoken and the police could beat you if they heard you speaking in Catalan.

My grandad always explains that he was walking on the street speaking Catalan with a friend back in the 50s and he was beaten up to speak his own language. You might think that this was long ago, but sadly it wasn't, on 1975 was the end of Franco's dictatorship, so only 40 years have passed, is recent history.

My mum does not know how to write in Catalan properly because the language was banned from education, so the only language they learned at school was Spanish. Thank God that we had and have strong believes in our nation and the language remained alive in houses even if it was banned "legally", so people kept speaking Catalan in their houses and the language remained.

Thanks to people who wrote books and did copies in catalan in secret, the catalan culture remained even in tough times. There is a poem in catalan culture very famous that says:

La meva terra: CATALUNYA (My land: Catalonia)

La meva parla: EL CATALÀ (My language: the catalan)

La meva dansa: LA SARDANA (My dance: la Sardana)

El meu desig: LA LLIBERTAT ( My desire: Freedom)

I think this is the perfect summary of what independence is about, protecting your roots and what is yours, being tired of fighting for something that has been taken away.

2012+demonstration


Why claim independence now in Catalonia?

The Independence feeling has always been in Catalonia but now is stronger, the strongest ever because people are tired of being mistreated by the rest of Spain (not always and not for everyone of course, but I had to hear things like you are "very nice for being catalan"), there have been boycotts to Catalonia's products, we have fought for the Estatut d'Autonomia (catalan constitution) where Spain had to adjust the money they have to give back to Catalonia -that they never gave back-.

The economic crisis has been a detonator as well for the independence process, there is no doubt about that, but the main point is always the same: the feeling of being mistreated nationally, economically etc..leads to a dark point of no return.

Fight for Catalonia's independence in 2012

On 11th September 2012 -the national day in Catalonia-, there was a demonstration in Barcelona organized by La Assemblea Nacional Catalana that gathered more than 1.5 million people all around the country that were in favor of Catalonia, a new state in the European Union.

In this demonstration all the debate started as the political situation started changing in Catalonia, it was clear that the population spoke up about their concern and ideas. This is when Artur Mas (the president of Cataloni'as government) listened to that demonstration and decided to call for elections in advance.

That is when Catalonia voted for Independence, the elections were a crucial moment as the population voted with one key point in mind: right to decide the future for Catalonia yes or no.

Outside Catalonia and some foreign countries saw that Artur Mas did not get the majority of votes so it was a defeat when the truth is: it wasn't. It was not only Mas party that was pro independence (CIU) but also other parties that have been pro independence for a long long time: ERC and ICV. If not pro independent, at least the democratic right to decide your future. Sometimes this part is not understood, as even if you are against independence you should have the right to vote for it, right?

I would love to see what all Catalonia thinks about it, so it would be good to be able to do the referendum in Catalonia to decide our future. However, Spain is not eager to let us do that, in my opinion let people vote and express themselves shouldn't worry anyone as in fact this is what democracy is about. I believe, the fear is in what results would be.

Fight for Catalonia's independence in 2013

In 2013 on 11th September, the catalans went to the next demonstration for Independence organized by Assemblea Nacional Catalana -an association built to by the population to fight for independence-. The demonstration called La Via Catalana was a human chain that united the country from north to south to demonstrate in favor of the Independence for Catalonia.

Fight for Catalonia's independence in 2014

After that demonstration, the president of Catalonia Artur Mas compromised to have a referendum for Independence for Catalonia the next year on 2014, the known 9N, the 9th of November of 2014 catalans voted in a "fake referendum" for independence.

The Spanish governement was completely against the referendum and it was competence of Spain to be legal and agreed, but Catalonia's government went ahead and did it anyway using all the legal resources they had, but in the end it was ilegal in the eyes of Spanish law.

We voted in 9N, but since it was not legal, neither official or recognised by the Spanish government the votes coming out from that referendum where not considered as the true action to declare the indepence.

Fight for Catalonia's independence in 2015

This lead us to 2015, in 27th September 2015, Artus Mas, the president of Catalonia organized the elections of 27th September with a clear message, to vote parties that want independence and parties that are against. This is the true legal referendum for Catalonia.

Parties in favor of independence have agreed that will work to build institutions a state need and proclaim independence if they have the majority in the Catalonia's parliament. This election there is a coalition for yes for independence called "Junts pel si" where ERC + Covergència parties are united and CUP also has independence in their

I know this is very controversial topic and there are opinions of all kinds on the process and I would be glad to hear your thoughts. I didn't mean to offend anyone, opinions is all they are opinions and there are millions of them, the important thing is respect yourself and others.

Have a look at this interesting videos on the process of Independence and the feeling of Catalans:

Why does Catalonia want to become independent?

Catalan independence step by step


Foreign people learning catalan and the history of the language


A New Yorker Opinion on Catalonia's Independence


I wanted to show as well videos with the opinion against Catalonia, but I didn't find any video in English or with subtitles. If anyone knows any I would love to show the other side of the story, as always there are so many colors on one thing and as good to show all angles.

Please let me know your thoughts and if you think it is an interesting toppic please share. Thank you, I hope you enjoyed.


5 Comments

Cat of Sunshine and Siestas commented about 4 years

I have to admit I'm not up to date with the independence movement because I am just SICK of hearing about it! It's always seemed to me that Catalonia wants its own country, culture, language, etc., but still have the benefits of Schengen, of the Liga BBVA (lo que mas gracia me hace!!), with the land. I've been to Catalonia many times and even have a degree from the UAB, but felt it was disrespectful for a master's program with many international students to publish some of our documents in català. If you want to go, just go already!

Meritxell commented about 4 years in response to Cat of Sunshine and Siestas

Hi Cat! I appreciate your comment, it is always interesting to know what others think. I can understand that all this might be tiring for some as it has been going around for so long.

Theo commented over 3 years

I'm planning a trip a honeymoon to Barcelona from September 10-13 before touring other parts of Spain. As this falls on your National Day September 11th, and before the November 9 referendum, would you suggest I still come to Barcelona or should tourists avoid the area?

Meritxell commented over 3 years in response to Theo

Hi! Nice to meet you. I honestly would encourage you to come to Barcelona. All pro independent catalan demonstrations have been pacific with 0 incidents, and so it will be this year. You should not worry at all. Even tourists joined the one last year as there was a very festive atmosphere, families, children and old people are in the demonstrations. I hope you enjoy the time in Barcelona, I am sure you will like it.

Theo commented over 3 years in response to Meritxell

Thanks for your reply! Tickets to Barca are booked - We'll spend 4 nights there, 5 in Formentera, 2 in Valencia, then train from Barca to Paris. Can't wait! Any tips on getting a pair of tickets to the Camp Nou?

¿What do you think? Help others with your opinion and experience

You might also like

My rural catalan wedding: traditions and DIY wedding
Barcelona Guide

My rural catalan wedding: traditions and DIY wedding

Oh, weddings, some hate weddings, and others love them. If there is something that is full of culture and traditions is how a wedding is lived in a certain place. I would like to explain to you how a Catalan wedding looks like and how was ours this year. I say Catalan wedding because there are some things that are different from Spanish weddings. In Cat…

Humans of Barcelona: a city through the faces of their citizens
Barcelona Guide

Humans of Barcelona: a city through the faces of their…

Humans of Barcelona is the project by the photographer Enric Mestres. I first met Enric when he was taking pictures of myself in the staff party at work, and I thought OMG he captured my beauty...I really liked the photos and digged a little deeper on his work. Humans of Barcelona started named as Lalala Barcelona with the same concept as Humans of New Yo…

Catalan independence: the catalan way
Barcelona Guide

Catalan independence: the catalan way

Catalonia independence has been the topic of the last 4 years in Spain and it has become a conflict known internationally. After 2012 demonstration in 11th September and 2013 via catalana a human chain from north to south of Catalonia, 2014 V of victory demonstrating in Gran Via and in 2015 a demonstration in La Meridiana in Barcelona everyone knows abou…