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News > Spain

Catalonia: Pro-Independence Rally at Real Madrid Soccer Match

  • Pro-independence activists demonstrate at the Catalonia's High Court of Justice in Barcelona, Spain, Nov. 18, 2019. The banner reads, 'Freedom'.

    Pro-independence activists demonstrate at the Catalonia's High Court of Justice in Barcelona, Spain, Nov. 18, 2019. The banner reads, 'Freedom'. | Photo: Reuters

Published 18 December 2019

The "Democratic Tsunami" called nonviolent civil disobedience actions on the day when a "classic" soccer match is expected to be watched by over 600 million people.

Over 32,000 Catalans have confirmed their participation in the pro-independence rally that will be staged two hours before the Real Madrid and Barcelona soccer match begins at the Nou Stadium in Barcelona at 6:00 pm local time on Wednesday.


Spain: Catalan Parliament Presses for Independence

This protest was summoned by the "Democratic Tsunami" (Tsunami Democràtic), which is a pro-independence movement that seeks to make people aware of the Catalonian struggle.

Barcelona and Real Madrid, two internationally well-known teams, will perform the so-called "classic match," an event that will be broadcasted by transnational mainstream media, which expect to reach over 600 million viewers worldwide.

The Democratic Tsunami is a movement that the Catalans created through social networks on Sep. 2 to channel their dissatisfaction with the imprisonment of pro-independence activists.

Its first public action took place on Oct. 14, when the Spanish authorities sentenced the "Proces Case" activists, who were involved in the 2017 pro-independence referendum, to prison.

On that day the Democratic Tsunami showed its mobilizing capacity by blocking the Barcelona airport, where thousands gathered to reject persecution against pro-independence leaders.

"The Democratic Tsunami is committed to nonviolent civil disobedience that is carried out through pressure actions in which thousands gather at specific places," local outlet El Periodico commented.

"Today we are going to be at the Nou Stadium next to the freedom and independence of Catalonia. We will follow the Tsunami Democratic's call. This day can be a great day and tomorrow will be even better. It is a simple football game but we play the future."

They are people who reissue a clandestine logic of action in which "each individual has a task and seeks another person to communicate the task to the next person... They are attached to the territory. Some are grass-root party militants and others are not. There are no leaders or spokespersons.”

Besides protesting at sites near the Neu Stadium, Catalan pro-independence activists could throw inflatable balls towards the playing field during the soccer match.

In response to the foreseeable increase in police surveillance, the Catalonia government president Quim Torra said that the "right to protest" should be respected and explained that pro-independence activists will express their opinions calmly in the surroundings of the Nou Stadium

The Barca's stadium "has always been a space where people have expressed themselves freely. Tonight they will express themselves freely and calmly and we will enjoy a great match," Torra said.​​​​​​​


Quim Torra
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