On September 11, celebrations will include the Via Catalana (Catalan Way), a human chain along Catalonia's (Spain's northeast region) coastline, which is meant to be the longest human chain ever made in the European Union. The chain is organized by the civic association Catalan National Assembly (CNA), in an attempt to show the increasing popular support for the option of independence and to push the regional government to start the negotiation process with the Spanish government.
More than 400,000 people who have published comments, pictures and videos on the Catalan Way can be tracked through this website and through the hashtags #11s2013 and #viacatalana.
On September 11, 2012, thousands of hundreds of Catalans took to the streets of Barcelona in the largest pro-independence rally in the region's history, also organized by the CNA. As a result, the center-right governing coalition Convergència i Unió (CiU) decided to hold the regional elections ahead of schedule, on November 25, 2012. Voter turnout peaked at almost 70%, the highest in 30 years, and the four political parties committed to holding a referendum on self-determination (CiU-ERC-ICV-CUP) got more than twice as many seats as those defending the status quo (PSC-PP-C). Crucially, both of Catalonia’s major parties – the governing center-right CiU and socialist PSC – suffered severe setbacks.
In order to show their support and encourage participation, Catalan communities all over the world have organized human chains in different cities. Below are some of the most striking pictures and videos.
— Gustau Alegret (@GustauAlegret) September 4, 2013
— Laksmí ||★|| #DUI (@Laksmiz) September 4, 2013
— Carles Noguera (@carles_noguera) September 2, 2013
With more than 50 people, the chain of Prague has been a success!
— Catalan Assembly (@catalanassembly) September 4, 2013
— Adrià Alsina (@AdriaAlsina) September 1, 2013
— Sergi Vicente (@sergivicente) September 1, 2013
Video (not broadcast) human chain yesterday at the Great Wall of China
— lluc salellas vilar (@llucsalellas) August 31, 2013
Eduard: “Catalans around the world have gone mad.” Iluc: “Indeed. Dozens of independents at the Great Wall of China.”
Chain in Buenos Aires! # viacatalanamon More than 250 people in Congress Plaza! Great
— Berta (@bertags) August 25, 2013
— Cristina Figueras (@cristinuti) September 1, 2013
I am full of pride!!
— Oriol Rosés i Belló (@oriolroses) September 1, 2013
— Pau Rodríguez i Ruiz (@Pauroru) August 31, 2013
— Kieron Merrett (@kieronam) August 31, 2013