Catalan civil-society organisations have simultaneously built the traditional human towers in Brussels, Berlin, Geneva, Lisbon, London, Paris and Rome, as well as in Barcelona at 12 o’clock (European Continental Time), this Sunday to claim for Catalonia’s right to self-determination and to be able to hold an independence vote, which is blocked by the Spanish Government. This awareness-raising action aims to send a message to the rest of Europe and the international community: Catalans want to vote. In fact, according to the polls published in the last 2 years, between 75% and 80% of Catalans want to hold a self-determination vote and between 50% and 55% of the citizens would vote for independence from Spain. A traditional Catalan human tower has been built at the same time in each of these cities, as well as in 41 towns throughout Catalonia, showing the banner “Catalans want to vote. Human towers for democracy”. Famous personalities have given their support to the action and have a read a manifesto: British historian Paul Preston in London, Catalan musician Jordi Savall in Paris, Catalan football coach Pep Guardiola in Berlin, Portuguese playwright Helder Costa in Lisbon, Catalan actor Sergi López in Brussels and Swiss actor Joan Mompart in Geneva.
The manifesto read after the Catalan human towers were built in the 8 European cities reads as follows:
“Manifesto “Catalans want to vote. Human towers for democracy”
Paris. Berlin. London. Brussels. Lisbon. Geneva. Rome. Barcelona. They all are European capitals that are some of the world’s most influential centres of culture and politics. All of them –and also dozens of Catalan towns– state today the democratic expression of thousands of Catalans that claim a right to vote their political future in the referendum that is going to take place next November 9. This action uses the beauty and impressiveness of the human towers, one of the main assets of the Catalan culture. These human towers have become symbolic towers for democracy. The Catalan castells (human towers), declared Intangible Cultural Heritage of Humanity by UNESCO, represent today –more than ever– values like work-load sharing, solidarity, mutual help to reach such noble goal as the one pursued by Catalan people: to be able to freely and democratically decide their future.
Catalan people have expressed their aim to solve the unusual situation between Catalonia and the Spanish government by using all the democratic tools at their disposal: organizing the most massive and peaceful demonstrations Europe has seen in the last five years. Now Catalan people want to vote their future and the way they can fit in 21st century Europe in a referendum next November 9. The Spanish government has repeatedly denied the referendum and has refused to negotiate with the Catalan government in order to find a solution to this democratic claim.
Therefore, the Catalans have decided to spread this normal and democratic vindication all over Europe. The aim is not to ask for permission or support, but to explain who we are, what we want and the way we want to share our future with all the citizens of 21st century Europe. We also want to thank the thousands of castellers that have made this demonstration possible, a demonstration that shows the best of the Catalan culture, a culture that has for centuries been part of the educated and strong Europe that we also vindicate; a culture that has witnessed the birth and growth of democracy. In short, what Catalans want is a democratic act: we want to vote and we want to decide our future through a referendum. We want to build the Europe of the future with all European citizens, as if it was a giant castell, a giant human tower.
Help us to build it!”