A new major player erupted on to the Catalan political landscape yesterday, with the single aim of making the mandate of the referendum on October 1 last year a reality: the independence of Catalonia. La Crida Nacional per la República (the Call for the Republic) was launched in Manresa, in front of some 5,000 people. Another thousand people had to remain outside the convention centre, in a marquee that allowed them to follow the event.
“A year ago we decided that we would continue to fight on whatever the conditions and circumstances might be, but now the Crida is born,” said the president of the new movement, Carles Puigdemont, who insisted the organisation is open to everyone, even those people who have never before taken an interest in politics.
Defining itself as “a political tool that could if necessary stand in elections,” the Crida presented yesterday, along with its founding leadership, will hold its constituent convention on January 19, following a period of debate and amendments.
Launched with a base of 10,000 founding members, from the 50,000 who signed up to an initial manifesto made public in July, the Crida aims to help bring about a Catalan Republic as soon as possible. Yet, the idea behind the platform is that no one has to give up their political or party allegiances to be part of it.
The three figures behind the project are Puigdemont, president Quim Torra, and former ANC head, Jordi Sànchez. “Now it is not about either a referendum or a referendum, it is about freedom or freedom, because there is no going back,” said Torra, who called on people to mobilise, as on “October 1 and October 3”, against the potential prison sentences for jailed political leaders in the independence case.