"Neither the repression, nor the threats, nor the fines, nor the jail, nor the preventive sentences... Nothing will stop us: we will do it again. Our commitment to the exercise of the right of self-determination has no way back," the Catalonia government president Quim Torra said.
Under the motto of "Freedom", the Barcelona march aims to become the most "massive and transversal" protests of those carried out to date, according to the Catalan National Assembly (ANC) and Omnium Cultural.
"This demonstration will serve to denounce the condemnation of pro-independence leaders and defend collective freedoms and rights," both organizations affirmed through a joint manifesto.
The ANC-OC activists also pointed out that their call is "transversal and inclusive" because it appeals not only to those who openly favor independence from Spain but also to all citizens who defend political and human rights.
The protest turns into a rally now in London. We want: -Release of political prisoners. -Stop police brutality. -Independence! pic.twitter.com/lRRxcB4HGW
Catalonia is experiencing a turbulent situation since October 14, when the Spanish Supreme Court (TS) issued sentences of up to 13 years in prison for nine pro-independence leaders.
They had been accussed of sedition for their active participation in the 2017 referendum whereby Catalans confirmed that they wanted their country to be independent.
The TS ruling provoked intense protests all over Catalonia, some of which involved clashes with the police which lasted even during nights. About 600 people were injured due to police brutality.
The ANC president Elisenda Paluzie and the Omnium vice president Marcel Mauri believe that the participation of the Catalans on Oct. 26 March will be massive because, in one way or another, all citizens are concerned about restrictions on their freedoms.
In condemning Catalan pro-independence leaders to long prison terms, Spanish authorities have set a precedent that risks criminalizing any form of dissent against the State.
"I am in jail for defending human rights, not independence," said Jordi Cuixart, who chairs Omnium Cultural, an NGO founded in 1961 to defend Catalan culture under the Francisco Franco dictatorship (1936-1975), when public use of the Catalan language was banned.
Cuixart also accused Spain's government of neglecting the option of dialogue to resolve Catalonia's political crisis.