Catalan separatists set to throng Barcelona’s Diagonal


Region’s break-up lobby poised to announce fresh mass protests on Saturday

Hundreds of thousands packed the streets in last year’s human chain./EFE

02 de abril de 2014 (20:01 CET)

Catalonia’s main separatist lobby has been plotting for a number of months a show of strenght to be staged on the 11th of September, the region’s National Day. The Assemblea Nacional Catalana (ANC), a militant pro-break-up coalition, is set to announce shortly that it is sending citizens in their tens of thousands to swarm Avenida Diagonal, one of Barcelona’s longest thoroughfares.

Its annual meeting on Saturday will see fresh mass protests announced in a bold attemp to inch the region close to independence from Spain. Hot on the heels of a 250-mile-long human chain staged last year, the ANC would be mulling to cement a pro-indepence poll tabled for November 9.

It is believed the ANC would be looking to make things easier for the media to count protesters, and hence to avoid the string of political rows that has ensued every time ANC militants have taken to the streets in their droves. Barcelona’s Avenida Diagonal is a broad avenue cutting the city in half from west to east, encompassing just over 6 miles of urban sprawl.

Since crowd counting techniques establish that the average rally packs four people in every square meter, the ANC would be eyeing to stage a 2-million strong pro-independence demonstration, likely to send shockwaves across the political arena.
Much along the same lines, Avenida Diagonal is the epitome of contentious past epochs. The urban way was used by Francoist troops to stage its Victory Parade at the end of the Spanish Civil War.

Rallies across the region

It is understood the proposal is one of the 300 plans the ANC is thinking over. Rank-and-file militants would have also proposed occupying all town squares on the eve of 11th of September.
Whatever the final arrangement, the ANC is the spearhead of pro-indepence groupings and parties in Catalonia, and has a record for calling successful mass demonstrations. This broad citizens’ coalition is at the same time the main political ally of President Artur Mas, as much as it could become its bitter enemy if the president scaled down the pro-independence push.
It is estimated that the ANC seeks to swarm Avenida Diagonal to send a clear, unequivocal message to the president in case legal obstacles made the ruling party desist from organising the voting.

In parallel with that, the coalition seeks to make the Catalan stand-off reverberate through
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