1.6 million Catalans demand independence from Spain

By Alejandro Freixes, CCNN Head Writer

A massive Catalan protest took place on Wednesday, Catalonia’s National Day, at the hour of 17:14 military time (5:14pm regular time). This hour was symbolic of September 11, 1714, when the Spanish Crown captured Barcelona after a vicious fight. Dressed in Catalonia’s yellow and red colors, the demonstrators called for independence from Spain. Catalonia is Spain’s wealthiest and most advanced region, and many of its residents speak both Spanish and the Catalan language. A human chain of Catalans stretched for 250 miles on Wednesday from the French border in the Pyrenees to neighboring Valencia, as 400,000 of the 1.6 million protesters joined hands. Carme Forcadell, president of the Catalan National Assembly organization that called for the protest, said, “We need to put an end to the economic and cultural suffocation we are suffering.” Regional President Artur Mas won elections last November with promises of serious independence talks. He confirmed he has spoken with Spanish Prime Minister Mariano Rajoy, explaining, “We do not want a traumatic separation from Spain.”

Featured image courtesy of Ivan McClellan Photography.