Human towers, 8 levels high. Independence flags and signs saying “Catalans want to vote”.
On Sunday, Brussels was one of the 8 European cities in which “Castells” or human towers were built in support of the independence of Catalonia, an issue that has picked up pace across the continent in recent months.
Civil society organisations travelled across Europe to promote a self-determination referendum next November in Catalonia. However, the referendum has been deemed illegal and anti-constitutional by the Spanish government.
Catalan separatists say they want to be a ‘new state’ within Europe.
“We Catalans have been protesting for a while. We demand to have the right to democratically chose (whether or not Catalonia should be independent from Spain). This is what we want to say to the whole of Europe.” said Catalan actor Sergi Lopez.
“With this initiative we are asking Europe to listen to us: there is a country called Catalonia that wants to have the right to express itself freely on the 9th of November.” said
But the EU has repeatedly warned Catalonia that it would no longer be an EU member state if it breaks away from Spain.
The European Commission indirectly set out its position on the Catalan self-determination debate after Catalonia held a pro-independence mass protest last September.
‘Scenarios such as the separation of one part of a member state or the creation of a new state, as we have recall on numerous occasions, would not be neutral as regards to the EU treaties.’ said European Commission spokesperson Alejandro Ulzurrun de Asanza y Muñoz.
According to recent polls, roughly half of the Catalan population supports independence.