The overarching objective is always independence, but this year’s Catalonia’s annual commemorative day reflected the internal divisions between the different regional independent parties at odds with Madrid.
The Diada, or national day of Catalonia, has been celebrated every September 11 since 1886 – and since 2012 has been marked by calls for independence.
The day was still marked by a push for independence backed by the current government with a protest around 16h CEST marking the day that Barcelona surrendered to King Philip V of Bourbon, after 13 months of resisting the siege of his troops in 1714.
The majority of protesters congregated in Plaza de España, in the centre of Barcelona, which the protest organisers want to make the centre of “strategic unity to achieve the common goal of independence.”
But participation was lower than in recent years, in part due to the strong independence pressure that has seriously shaken Catalan and Spanish society.
Local police in Barcelona said 600,000 people participated in the demonstration down from one million last year.