Catalonia is still here, and despite attempts to keep it down, nothing and no one has managed to erase its craving for freedom. What is more, yesterday the majority of those who feel like one people and want to decide their own future showed that the punishment suffered by their self-government and their leaders, far from frightening them, has made them as determined as ever to achieve their aim.
For the seventh consecutive National Day of Catalonia, pro-sovereignty sentiment brought a million people onto the streets in a demonstration of strength that no one else in Europe seems capable of, to slam their fist down on the table and demand that Catalan politicians show unity and courage to achieve the Catalan Republic and demand from those on the outside, especially the Spanish, the end of repression, as well as respect for the indisputable and sovereign will of the people. The former seem to have understood the message much better than the latter.
The image that will remain of the 2018 National Day is what happened twice at around 5.14 p.m. (the symbolic 1714, commemorating the fall of Barcelona during the War of the Spanish Succession). The people who had filled Diagonal since early morning and given the whole city the atmosphere of one of the great days in history remained silent for a few moments, before then starting a wave of sound that represented determination, a cry for freedom that ran like a shiver up the spine of the Catalan capital to reach the other end, six miles away, a couple of minutes later. A cry that began small but arrived at the other end so hard that it knocked down the allegorical wall of authoritarianism representing the Spanish king and Article 155 constructed at the end of the route.