WHILE the Catalan independence movement can spill over a million people on to the streets, the YES movement in Scotland are still ignoring the power of events. Why are catalan referendum events the core of the YES strategy here in Barcelona?

The Catalan National Assembly (ANC) brings together, under one banner, people from all parts of Catalan society who support Catalan independence. They are also the largest event organiser in Europe. And what may come as a surprise to most YES voting Scots, these two things are seen as mutually exclusive.

It was therefore no surprise that Jordi Sánchez (the President of the Catalan National Assembly) announced last week that three large public events had been planned for the beginning, middle and end of the independence campaign which leads up to the vote on Catalan independence on the 1st October.

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Catalan referendum events are the core of the YES strategy.

The first and largest event will be the national day of celebrations which take place in Barcelona, annually, on September 11th. Since the inception of the ANC in 2012, Barcelona has been the tapestry for these huge colourful events. Every year the "picture" is different but the message, and the number of people, remain both constant and strikingly powerful.

This September 11th countless millions across the globe will see a human-made, gigantic, luminous "X" (formed by close to one million people) stretched out across Barcelona city centre. From the air, this will be an incredible sight.

For the thronging masses on the streets, this will be the moment their hearts pound and their heads rush with the dizzying thoughts of success.

I will be stuck somewhere in the middle, clad in a bright luminous t-shirt (they have a different accompanying t-shirt each year and the brightness of the apparel is very important this year) As an event organiser, Barcelona resident and supporter of the principle of self determination, what else would I do on a Monday afternoon?

Can you imagine a similar event in Scotland? Just try! It's almost impossible to create that image in your mind; it would strain the sinuses of the brain; it challenges every part of your imagination. The idea that a similar event could bind a fractious movement and provide a focal point for our energies seems both impossible and pointless to many in the YES movement. However mass demonstrations are at the very heart of the Catalan campaign.

But you know, maybe we are right and the Catalans are crazy. Maybe Scotland is too different (although I argue that's not the case) but shouldn't we be at least talking about the power and possibility of mass participation events backed by THE WHOLE YES MOVEMENT?


We are running two surveys looking at the events we ran in 2014. One for those who organised IndyRef Events in 2014 and for those who simply attended any IndyRef events in 2014.