[ View the story "#FreedomForCatalonia" on Storify] #FreedomForCatalonia Catalans rally on the streets and online to demand independence from Spain.
Storified by The Stream · Tue, Sep 11 2012 12:06:54
showed Barcelona's streets completely packed for the march.
"CATALONIA, NEW STATE OF EUROPE" is the banner of the head #11s2012 #enIgnasi Bonet
3 kilometers (1.86mi) filled of march by demonstrators in Barcelona, Catalonia, reports @tv3cat #11s2012 #en #freedomforCataloniaLiz Castro
According to the police 1.5 million people are marching for Catalan indepency in Barcelona. #11s2012Edgar
Catalonia has a longstanding independence movement; the region's national day marks the defeat of Catalan troops in 1714. The movement has grown during Spain's financial crisis, especially among the younger generation. Spain's youth unemployment is
over 50 per cent
MT @jofrellombart: In recent years, I've seen many people become independentist. I didn't see anybody go the other way. #11s2012 #enLiz Castro 11s2012
MT @CivitiMarti This little democratic revolution's organized by students, retired, unemployed and poorly payed people #11s2012 #enGlobal Voices Català
"We grandparents don't matter so much, it's the youth that have to form an Independent Catalonia" #tv3cat #11s2012 #en #avipresidentLiz Castro
The march was accompanied by a flood of hashtags both in support and against Catalonian independence. #FreedomforCatalonia had over 60,000 mentions.
Hello Europe! Do you remember us? We are the catalans and we are back, are you ready? #FreedomForCatalonia #11s2012#Independència
Activists and netizens used #11s2012 to discuss the rally across Spain, as shown in this image from Trendsmap.
Twitter users also competed using #CataloniaIsNotSpain and #CatalunaEsEspana (Catalonia Is Spain). This tweet says, "Catalonia is my country, Spain is my punishment."
Catalunya es mi país, España es mi castigo.#madrid #España #espana #spain #11s2012 #CatalunyaNouEstatdEuropa #CataloniaIsnotSpainPedro Villarroel
My name is Catalonia. Today I have taken to the streets calling for freedom! #FreedomForCatalonia #11s2012 #CataloniaisnotspainM.Alba Barta ll*ll
MT @jordievole: Working in Madrid. Worrying how little attention to what's happening in BCN. Blinders. Sometimes mutual. #11s2012 #enLiz Castro 11s2012
This tweet says, "If the Catalans want independence, they can leave their parents' home."
#CataluñaEsEspaña si los catalanes se quieren independizar, que se vayan de casa de sus padres. JAJAJAJAJAMauricio Colmenero
"Catalonia spends 500 million euros a year promoting independence", this tweet says.
Cataluña gasta 500 millones de euros al año en promocionar el independentismo
Feliç Diada #CataluñaEsEspañaLa Razón
"If Catalonia is Spain, it should be decided by Catalan citizens. Not the rest of Spain", tweets @PlanetaEskoria_.
Si #CataluñaEsEspaña debería decidirlo los ciudadanos catalanes. No el resto de España. BesisPlaneta Eskoria #15S
"Catalonia is Spain, and Spain is Germany", tweets @withnorules, referencing Germany's leadership role in the Eurocrisis.
#CataluñaEsEspaña, y España es Alemania.Blow me.
Many Catalans believe they have been unfairly burdened with the rest of the country's economic woes. The "Stop Espoli (Theft)" campaign explains more:
The Catalan Government's budget and the Spanish Government's investment within Catalonia are the subject of constant debate. Catalonia has a GDP per capita higher than the Spanish average. Therefore, considering regional solidarity, Catalonia brings more money to Spain's treasury than the money it gets back. However, many voices in Catalonia have complained that the difference between what it gives and what it gets back is too high. It is known as the fiscal deficit.Catalan Budget and Deficit | Catalan News Agency
Feelings of economic inequality sparked the "
I won't pay
" movement, in which Catalans refused to pay highway tolls.
AP-7 No vull pagarjcasadella57
Vicent Partal wrote an editorial with "20 Reasons Why I am an Independentist," explaining that the desire for financial autonomy was only one reason of many, including the desire for self-determination.
5. I am independentist because I believe that right now it's harder to fix the very meager Spanish democracy than to design a new republic from scratch, with proper electoral laws, an independent judiciary, checks and balances to protect against abuses of power, and social justice for everyone.Twenty reasons why I am independentist - Editorial - VilaWeb
of themselves with different versions of the Catalan flag, one of the oldest still used in Europe.