60,000 mark the fifth anniversary of the 1-O, the self-determination referendum held on 2017 and deepens the ERc's sinking

The event organized in Barcelona this Saturday to mark the fifth anniversary of the 1-O, the self-determination referendum held on October 1st, 2017 was attended by 60,000 people. What was most evident was the vast divide separating the thousands of people who gathered in front of the Arc de Triomf in defence of the validity of the referendum, and Catalonia's Republican Left (ERC) political leadership that has abandoned the 1-O.​​

In fact the dismissal of vice president Jordi Puigneró (Junts) by president Pere Aragonès (ERC) only three weeks after the Diada demonstration from which the ERC leadership absented itself, is already clear. The first signs were given at the very start of the event, when it was recalled that the Spanish state's repression had, among other consequences, led to the situation of there being five people in exile who were unable to come personally to Barcelona. The names of Lluís Puig, Clara Ponsatí and Toni Comín, from the Junts space, received loud applause, and this multiplied when the name of Carles Puigdemont was read, prompting a shower of praise and chants of "president". Only one of the figures in exile was criticized: the name of the ERC general secretary, Marta Rovira, provoked jeers among the public.

The ERC space also could not avoid the crowd's derision, a few moments later, when senior ERC figure Carme Forcadell went on stage. During her speech, calls of "traitor" and "out" were heard among the public:  "Many of you are angry, disappointed and disillusioned. I understand that and I share it.", she said. But it 's too late. Her party is sinking day by day. 

Carles Puigdemont and the ANC get all the warmth

Carles Puigdemont, the president-in-exile, who spoke live via telematic means, was enthusiastically welcomed by an audience that, for long periods, remained silent listening to his words. A tranquility that was broken after several messages from Puigdemont, such as his "immense thanks" to the citizens who made the 1-O possible, his warning that those "delusional undertakers" should give up any hope that the people will forget about independence, and his defence that "there is no need to repeat" any referendum because the 2017 one is still valid, as opposed to the "clarity" proposal of the Catalan president, Pere Aragonès. Even his appeal for the unity of the independence movement was well received: "The only table to which we must chain ourselves is the dialogue table between the siblings of Junts, ERC, the CUP, Òmnium and the Assembly". Unlike the other speakers who spoke along these lines, Puigdemont was applauded. 
The Catalan National Assembly (ANC), as well, was welcomed with open arms. In her speech, Dolors Feliu saw how her strategy, marked by the desire to put an end to the dialogue table with the state and start a new democratic attack in the short term, was strongly applauded. Her criticism of the "immobility" of the parties was warmly received by the public, as well as her call to "open new paths". Thus, the ANC president returned to the threat of a early election and a civil list, bypassing the parties, if the Catalan government does not comply with its pro-independence mandate.

Appart from the Barcelona's event there were meetings all over Catalonia and a rally in Girona where hundreds burned the ERC's effigy portrait and a Spanish banner.

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