Société Saint-Jean-Baptiste de Montréal
Catalan and Québec Independence Leaders Gather in Montreal
Raising of an Estelada and symbolic muzzling for a referendum in Catalonia
One month prior to the consultation on the political future of Catalonia ("9N"), considered illegal by the Spanish State, Québec and Catalan leaders including the President of St. John-Baptist Society (SSJB) of Montreal, Maxime Laporte, held a press conference this morning in Montreal for the raising of a Catalan independentist flag (Estelada blava) to support the right of the Catalan nation to democracy and self-determination.
The Estelada, which was lifted by Duane Boisclair, a young citizen, is of symbolic importance as it is the result of an exchange of flags which took place earlier in Barcelona between Carme Forcadell, president of the Catalan national Assembly (ANC), and young Québec activists who participated in the "Mission: New Countries - Let's raise the wind." It was held just before the huge peaceful demonstration in "V" which attracted more than 1.8 million Catalans in Barcelona.
Following the raising of the flag, participants installed on their mouths red and yellow stickers to symbolize the "denial of democracy" and the "muzzling" of Catalans' desire for national emancipation. They displayed a sign indicating: "Let Catalonia speak!"
The lawyer and president of SSJB and réseau Cap sur l'indépendance (RCI), Maxime Laporte, argued: "You cannot silence a people in its inalienable right to self-determination without attacking democracy itself. Democracy means the power to the people. There are two concepts: the people and its power to decide. Thus, Québecers want to show their solidarity towards the Catalan citizens in their peaceful struggle for existence and for the recognition of their nation, their right to democracy, their power to self-determination and the international personality of Catalonia."
Josie-Anne Huard, the coordinator of the Catalan National Assembly in Québec, said: "The position of the Catalan National Assembly (ANC) is clear: the consultation project is the only possible democratic solution for the future of Catalonia. Considering the intransigence of Rajoy's government, the support of the international community for the maintenance and the recognition of this consultation is more necessary than ever for Catalans."
Agusti Nicolau-Coll, spokesperson for the Catalan Cultural Circle of Québec, and official organization recognized by the Government of Catalonia, read the Catalan National Pact for the Right to Decide, stating: "The purpose of this agreement is to spread the democratic values ensuring the Catalan people's right to decide and to hold a consultation on its political status. This is to reiterate the fundamental importance of freedom of speech and the direct participation of citizens in public affairs."
Duane Boisclair, representing the "Mission: New Countries - Let's raise the wind", declared: "Today we gather around the Estelada, a symbol of Catalonia's aspiration for freedom, in order to express our pride. Catalans, we are proud of you and we admire the way you are expressing your collective desire for a better world."
David Gascon, spokesperson of the Mouvement progressiste pour l'indépendance du Québec (MPIQ), emphasized the importance of a citizen's movement for independence: "Québec must learn from the Catalan independence movement, because it is undeniable that the very idea of national independence belongs to the people and not only to political parties."
Founded by the Patriots, the SSJB, which celebrates this year its 180th anniversary, strives for the defence of Québec's interests and the promotion of national history, social justice, French language and independence. The RCI is a coalition of more than 30 citizen independence groups.
For more information et interviews (Maxime Laporte):
Claude Boisvert - +1-438-931-2615, email@example.com
Source: Société Saint-Jean-Baptiste de Montréal | http://www.ssjb.com | http://www.facebook.com/ssjbm