Things are moving fast in Catalonia. Today Joan Laporta, Uriel Bertran and Alfons López Tena have announced (video in Catalan) the creation of Solidaritat Catalana per la Independència urging all Catalan parties to form a coalition and commit to declare the independence of Catalonia should this coalition win the Catalan elections in November. Reagrupament have announced already that since this is the formula they’ve always defended they can count with them.
Back in 1906 a coalition called Solidaritat Catalana joined forces of all Catalan parties to fight Spanish centralism and regain self-government shares for Catalonia. Now this new Solidaritat Catalana per la Independència tries to follow the same steps but with the target to regain Catalonia’s independence and become a state within the European Union.
But let’s go back a couple of weeks to explain how events have developed to make it possible to reach this point.
A qualified board within the Catalan Parliament repeated a voting last tuesday about whether to give a go ahead to the Popular Initiative for a Referendum of Independence. The first voting a few weeks ago was affirmative. This time all Catalan parties unanimously voted against it. They argued that they took this decision because the Catalan Statute sentence from the Spanish Constitutional Court now bans the Catalan Parliament from organising referendums.
So, the people of Catalonia came out in force last week to call for independence, yet the elected parties first action after this was to contradict this wish, and indeed bring in measures against Catalan sovereignty and democracy. Independence is centering the political debate in Catalonia and parties are timidly modifying their speech to adapt it to the new independentist majority in Catalonia but their actions show they are unable to lead Catalonia in this issue and are paralysed and confused about what to do.
As a consequence of the rejection of the Popular Initiative, its promoters Alfons López Tena and Uriel Bertran, who also are two of the visible leaders and organisers of the popular referendums for independence, have resigned from their responsibilities from parties CiU and ERC, respectively and are working to make this coalition possible. They saw and understood that at the end of the day the current parties are completely unable to defend Catalonia and adapt their actions accordingly to the quickly changing reality and now that the way of the referendum is shut there’s only the way of the declaration of independence left.
Outside of the Parliament we have Reagrupament. The political association led by Joan Carretero have managed to create a solid candidacy for the elections next November and they’ve made it clear that, unlike ERC, they won’t get in any Government unless its first target is the declaration of independence at the Catalan Parliament.
Finally, we have Joan Laporta, the former president of FC Barcelona who, right after finishing his duty at the club, has announced that he’s going to step into the political arena with a new independentist party, Democràcia Catalana. Rumours are that his candidacy will include a good number of relevant personalities and intellectuals linked to the independentist scene. Mr Laporta seems to have a good chance of making an excellent result given his openly declared independentism together with his achievements at having turned Barça into the most successful sports club in the world.
The big question is whether this new Solidaritat Catalana per la Independència will be able to create a solid coalition and lead Catalonia to freedom. The ingredients are indeed there. I don’t think that the current parties such as CiU and ERC will join this coalition since they’ve repeatedly made decisions in the opposite direction but even without them a very strong coalition able to destabilize the Catalan Parliament can be achieved. I personally am very happy that this has happened as I’ve always defended from here I think this is the best way to go for Catalonia.
Related: Joan Laporta’s speech (with english subtitles) at Reagrupament’s meeting last March