Last Saturday (08/12/2017), the cause of Catalonian independence received a boost when a new group joined their efforts.
According to Yahoo News, San Sebastian, Spain, was the scene where Basque supporters, who turned out in their thousands, showed solidarity for Catalan and their upcoming independence referendum by marching publicly, bearing the flag of Catalan.
Besides once again thrusting the cause of Catalonian independence back into the public’s eye, the importance of this demonstration is twofold. First, it’s significant for the identity of the protesters. Basque has long wanted independence from Spain, and their efforts have gravitated towards the violent. The Basque people showing up to publicly support the October first independence referendum gives Catalan a public boost for their efforts by having the blessing of the original Spanish independence group. Second, the importance in this move by the Basque is in its method. This demonstration could show that popular non-violent approaches to independence may be growing in popularity in Spain. Instead of returning to the violence of the past to achieve their ends, perhaps the Basque region may seek similar solutions to that of Catalan.
This protest couldn’t have come any later. After repeated threats from the government in Madrid and the media touting polls forecasting that the independence referendum will fail in the fall, this show of support may be just the thing to help the pro-independence supporters re-rally. That, combined with displeasure at Madrid intimidation, may help Catalan make up for minor losses at the polls.
The referendum’s result in October is sure to cause ripples that touch more than just Iberia, despite the results. Whatever the Catalonians decide, one thing should be communicated in crystal clarity to Catalan and to all peoples that chafe under the control of a larger aloof power and long to be free to rule themselves… the choice is theirs.