Sant Jordi! (Saint George)
We are commemorating 300 years since the signing of the treaties of Utrecht, which left Catalonia's aspirations blatantly abandoned by its European allies. This is one of the meanest pages of the continent's modern history, failing to spare Catalans from deathly aftershocks. It did manage, though, to put the ‘Deplorable case of the Catalans’ in the freezer for a while and to pave the way for Bourbon-led repression. Three centuries later, yet again, a genuine Catalan Spring is blooming, judging by the scent emanating from Catalonia's near future, if its citizens are ready to fight for it. After decades of resisting, insisting and subsisting, the time is ripe for flowering, emerging: a social majority has felt again the call of 'We are and we remain', a national motto.
Catalans are back, and any informed European citizen is aware of it. The massive demonstration on September the 11th, 2012 (on Catalonia’s National Day) reverberated throughout Europe. Since its recent, audacious and generous establishment, the Catalan National Assembly (ANC) has contributed a fair amount to this awareness. With a local grouping in the European capital, ANC-Brussels feels the urge to contribute. That's why we will soon be glad to invite you to a truly European conversation. The ‘Carlemany project’. Everybody is welcome; we will squash clichés and prejudices against Catalans on our road to the right to self-determination, and we will engage in a debate tackling all relevant and constructive points and objections that affect how Catalan facts are reported in this part of the world. Loads of wit and intelligence will be needed to prevail, but we are in no shortage of good reasons, or patrons, for that matter...
Saint George's Day, the Spring National Day for Catalans, is approaching, honouring our Patron Saint, Sant Jordi. For many years, we have observed the tradition (warmly welcomed by florists and booksellers, also in Brussels), by offering and exchanging books and red roses as a sign of love and affection. United and joyful, this is our day of romantic love. Brave Saint George's name was invoked constantly in almost every battle fought in the history of Catalonia. In the non-violent battle now ahead of us, it is him calling us. So, in the words of poet Vicent Andrés Estellés: “there is nothing they can do to stop a united, joyful and combative people”. Sant Jordi!
by Anna Amigó and Jordi Juanós
Catalan Assembly – Brussels
Twitter account: @AncBru