dilluns, 23 de setembre de 2013

After the #CatalanWay

Bon dia! Només 2 apunts més sobre Catalunya i tornaré a escriure de coses més importants :) Vaig directe a escriure l'anglès ja que (a) està de moda, (b) els lectors balearics ho agraïran, i (c) lo que dic és més pel public no-català, ja que no dic res de nou pels que teniu/tenim el cervell rentat per TV3 :) Però, us recomano que ho llegiu igualment!
So, following on from last years million-strong rally in Barcelona in favour of independence, a fortnight ago - 11th September - Catalans got together to form a "human chain" from top to bottom of the country. It was extremely successful; a beautiful, emotional, exciting, peaceful call for democracy. The sheer logistics, organisation and numbers of it give an idea.
Top to bottom of Catalonia are 400km. So they blocked off the main coastal road (used by millions of people as you probably know if you've ever been here on holiday - it runs from France, through Barcelona, along the coast and then into Spain and down south - a very popular and busy route as the toll-motorways are extremely expensive to use). People were asked to register to ensure that however many people went, the chain would be at least one person thick and continuos. That meant 400,000 people officially registered (one person , with arms out , covered one metre). Actually people kept registering, plus they allowed a 20% over-booking before saying it was fully covered. So, probably 500-600,000 had actually put their names down.
Plus their kids, who weren't listed.
On the day, it was made clear that, obviously, the more people, the better - the official numbers were merely to prove it had been done butm actually, the objective was to get as many people as possible out. Most towns and cities were just crowds of people - Barcelona centre being a huge mass of probably half a million people. Other places, the chain was 2 or 3 people thick. Anyway, official estimates say there were probably 1.6 million people.
Just think about that. It's like closing the A1 in England for 8 hours on a bank holiday. Then getting 20% of the population to their correct registered position (the 400km were divided into 500m stretches) - many travelling by coach for 6 hours (with all the time and expense that involves) before arriving "in the middle of nowhere" to cover the more barren areas. 20% of UK would be, say, 10 million?

Each 500m stretch had 4 volunteers to organise and control it, and take photos - there will be a "gigaphoto" of the whole chain!1600 volunteers, plus hundreds more organising from call centres, internet hot rooms, controlling crowds in town.
And all this done by a voluntary citizen group set up just two years ago to fight (outside of political parties) for the right to a referendum on Catalonia's future. Independently (pun intended) of whether the Yes or No vote will win, just setting this up and pulling it off says a hell of a lot about the Catalans desire to have a VOTE!
So, they say, pictures and music are worth a thousand words ....

There's also a cool video here on the right of this link but I'm not having any luck embedding it - check it out!

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