Thousands of demonstrators call for self-determination for Catalonia in the streets of Brussels

Between 3,000 and 12,000 people, according to different sources, have called for independence for Catalonia in the European capital · Nationalia offers links with videos and pictures on the rally · Two days before the march, members of the European Parliament met the organizers.

Members of the organizing committee, participants in the rally and media have referred to the demonstration called 10Thousand to Brussels for Self-determination as a "great success". Leaving aside traditional discrepancies over the final number of participants -2,900 according to Belgian police sources compared to more than 10,000 according to the organizers- thousands of people have marched through the streets of the European capital to call for the recognition of Catalonia as a full EU member through peaceful means.

The slogan "We want a Catalan state" has attracted thousands of Catalans -and numerous supporters of the rights of peoples from many other nations-, who have traveled to Brussels by plane, coach or private vehicle in order to internationalize the Catalan case. Next to "Catalonia is not Spain" and "Catalonia Next State in Europe" banners, there also were flags of Flanders -another non-recognized nation in Europe, as well as flags of the European Union, Basque Country, Occitania and Veneto.

Several TV channels have reported on the news. A video in English can be found at the Flemish website. on-line journal offers a selection of videos broadcasted by Catalan and Spanish televisions. Vilaweb has launched a 13 minute documentary called Estels a Brussel·les (Stars in Brussels), and also Avui newspaper and the Catalan public television broadcaster, TVC, at, its on-line news website.

Photos of the event can be found in the website at Nació,, and several blogs (Erik D'hamers and this participant's).

Saturday's march can be also labeled as a success considering the coverage by Catalan, Spanish, and even Belgian and French media. Eurolang explained the news in English (Catalans march in Brussels for self-determination), whereas among the French-speaking media the event was reported by Le Figaro (3000 manifestants pour la Catalogne), (Les Catalans manifestent pour l'indépendance) and Le Soir (Des Catalans manifestent à Bruxelles), among others. As for the Spanish newspapers, coverage was made by El País (Convergència apoya en Bruselas una marcha independentista), El Mundo (Miles de personas apoyan la marcha independentista catalana en Bruselas) and ABC (Miles de personas recorren Bruselas para pedir la independencia de Cataluña), among others. It was obviously in Catalonia were the demonstration had most echoed. Apart from the mentioned above, Avui issued an opinion piece by Isabel-Clara Simó (Comença el compte enrere), Crònica explained the impact of the issue at international media (Els mitjans internacionals es fan ressò de la manifestació independentista a Brussel·les) and the Northern Catalonia-based La Clau explained it  (10.000 catalans manifesten a Brussel·les a favor de l'autodeterminació).

Reception at the European Parliament
On Thursday, two days prior to the demonstration, a delegation of 10Thousand to Brussels and other members of civil society met a group of members of the European Parliament belonging to nationalist parties from all over Europe. The Catalan delegation handed in a letter calling for the European institutions to get involved in the resolution of the Catalan political conflict and detailing the reasons for the demonstration.

The letter was received by Ian Hudghton, SNP and European Free Alliance (EFA) president in Parliament, and Mikel Irujo (Eusko Alkartasuna, also an EFA member). Sinn Féin's Brian Carty, José Luis Linazasoro -General Secretary of The Greens-EFA-, Steven Cornelius, Plaid Cymru's assistant in Brussels, and Ana Miranda, spokeswoman for the Galician Nationalist Block (BNG) in Brussels and vice-president of EFA, were also present.