As we announced, a delegation of 60 youngsters from all around Europe visited Catalonia during the 29-30 September and 1st October weekend, and following days, to witness the progress of the Independence Referendum and assist with their support to the subsequent mobilisations.
On Saturday, the delegation attended the conference organised by EFA with Daniel Turp and Silvio Falcón at CIEMEN headquarters. Later, they participated in the international conferences organised by Universitats per la República (Universities for the Republic) at the squatted University of Barcelona and by CIEMEN (among other civil society organisations) in the Institut del Teatre. At the end of the day delegates enjoyed a joint dinner with JERC members at Orfeó Gracienc, in the neighbourhood of Gràcia.
On Sunday, they were split into two groups: one group came along with the European Free Alliance delegation exercising observation tasks, visiting around 10 polling stations and witnessing the tension and violence organised by the Spanish police. The other group, splitted in three teams, defended three different polling stations (Escola Reina Violant, Institut Vall d’Hebron, and Escola Pare Poveda) shoulder by shoulder with JERC and the so-called Referendum Defense Committees. Finally, around 10pm, all EFAy and EFA delegates gathered at Plaça Catalunya to follow the provisional counting.
Despite the situations of tension, violence, impotence and anger; delegates also saw the joy, happiness and empowerment message that Catalan people sent to Europe. A people that does not fight for their rights, is a people that renounces to its freedom. Catalans showed us that non-violent, inclusive and bottom-up struggle is the sole way to achieve our goals. Despite that, this battle has just started.