CATALONIA Day sees massive drop in attendance due to the coronavirus pandemic.
The Pro-Independence association has stated its staunch support for continued celebrations to highlight the independence cause however the Barcelona Medical Association actively called upon the events to be cancelled due to the situation with COVID-19.
Health restrictions and social distancing measures have had a direct effect on the turn out of this annual event. The events are held annually on 11th September to mark the anniversary of the downfall of Barcelona. The fall occurred in 1714 during the War of Spanish Succession.
The War of Spanish succession occurred between 1701 and 1714 after the death of the last Habsburg King of Spain. The childless King reigned over a global Spanish Empire and his lack of successor saw the war break out in the region.
Spain is currently fighting its way through a second wave of the coronavirus pandemic which has devastated the planet. A Catalan Pro-independence group named Assemblea Nacional Catalana (ANC) was still hopefully that they would be able to see the event draw in 48,000 attendees to around 90 areas in the north-eastern region. However, it would appear that safety concerns were a sticking point for participants.
Catalonia Day sees massive drop in attendance however Elisenda Paluzie, the President of the ANC, stated, “We want to defend the right to demonstrate safely, and that is why we have adopted all the measures established by [civil protection agency] Procicat,”
She continued, “We will prove that we are able to organise Covid-adapted mobilisations, and precisely because there is a crisis, the need for independence is even more urgent, because we want a state that works for the interests of citizens.”
This was the first year that saw the event missing members of the government who normally take part and the official government only offered one official event.
The coronavirus pandemic also saw an exceptional reduction in turnout to street protests that take place annually to call for Catalonia’s right to self-determination. The events, which have been accosted in recent years by the ANC, now normally draw in vast crowds to petition for the right for Catalonia to become and independent state.
Numbers for the marches usually top the one million mark in Barcelona alone however, according to the local police service, this year saw only 60,000.
Ada Colau, Barcelona’s Mayor called upon all participants to, “take care of one another and join forces, because there are difficult months ahead and we all need to give the best of ourselves.”
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