Wednesday, September 17, 2014

Alba gu brath!!

Article publicat avui, 17 de setembre, un dia abans del referendum per la independència d'Escòcia.


Saturday, September 13, 2014

Diada 2014

It started early in the morning, getting three T-shirts ready: one to wear, one last’s year yellow and this year new red, and packing a couple of sandwiches and a bottle of water in a small backpack. And then fetching a flag. This year a double one: the “estelada” plus the Tarragona banner, yellow with four wavy red stripes, as Tarragona is “Catalonia on the sea”.
Sometime after 9am, I joined a bunch of citizens in a gathering at one of Tarragona plazas. By 10am some 200plus started to march towards the city hall at the sound of a band of Catalan bagpipes (called “sacs de gemecs”, bags of laments, for their peculiar wailing sound) and a “batucada”, a quite noisy drums and cymbals band, brazilian style, nowadays very popular amongst youngsters in Catalonia.
At the city hall we gathered some 2800 people with “estelada” flags, and 58 representatives of different associations and organizations presented the mayor a signed document of their compromise with Catalonia’s “Right to Decide”, right to vote.  That’s been done in all of the 960 municipalities  of Catalonia.
After some speeches and chants and the final singing of the Catalan national anthem, the gathering peacefully dissolved itself, many people moving to another plaza, where the “castells”, those peculiar Catalan human castles, staged a show.

(Foto: The Tarragona flag flying over the mayor’s head was mine)

Around noon I took a train to Barcelona. I was to meet there my brothers, who had left earlier by car.
When I reached Barcelona-Passeig de Gracia station, around lunch time, the streets were taken by hundreds of people dressed in yellow or red T-shirts.

We went to a restaurant for lunch, absolutely packed full with a very noisy crowd of demonstrators.
I treated myself to fried vegetables (like vegetable chips) and “cap-i-pota”, a popular Barcelona delicacy of pork head and feet, stewed over a long time with a very saucy gravy. (No matter what the recipe may suggest, it is a very low cholesterol meal, as the vegetables are fried in olive oil and the cap-i-pota has hardly any fat).

After coffee, we walked to Gran Via, one of the two sides of the “V” to be staged in Barcelona. It took us close to one hour to walk from the GranVia-Passeig de Gracia crossing to Entença street, some 13 blocks away (1.2 miles), one whole hour before the set time for the demonstration, 17.14h (to remember the year 1714, of the fall of Barcelona, 300 years ago to the day).

I just saw what I saw, but I’d bet there were way more than one million people in Barcelona avenues. They shouted, chanted, sing and had fun. Right after the set hour, the “castellers” raised the pillars of honour.

(Foto: 6 tier pillars by the “Colla Jove”, lavander shirt, and “Xiquets”, striped shirt)

Not one single incident recorded. This is a very resolute, determined, and peaceful people. Make no mistake: they want to be independent from Spain.

Hear, hear, oh! World



Tuesday, September 09, 2014