Thursday, November 13, 2014

Letter to a "Now is the Time" volunteer, just before you start dialling el singular digital


Dear Friend,

I apologise for the interruption, I know you're about to pick up the phone, but let me just tell you four things.

I just wanted to write these few lines to thank you for all that you're been doing, since the Assemblea and Òmnium Cultural put the "Ara és l’hora" (Now's the time!) campaign into operation.

I've seen you filling envelopes, hanging up posters, handing out flyers, carting tables and chairs about, getting up at six and going to bed in the early hours, making phone calls right round the clock, sending emails compulsively, selling all kinds of gadgets, overcoming your instinctive fear of talking to strangers and going from door to door to make the gigasurvey come true, crossing your weekends right off your calendar. 

But above all I've seen you happy, full of enthusiasm and optimism, loaded with ideas to think and dream about, working and going out of your way to help bring about - with all you know and can do, with the time you're been able to invest - the idea of building a better country for all the people you love.


Many thanks, for your work, your dedication, your generosity, and your efforts.


The years will pass and 2014 will just be a memory. 


But when someone wants to understand what in heaven's name this country proposed then, he will have to study how you and the other volunteers put into effect the campaign that allowed Catalonia to make another huge leap towards independence.
And then he'll have to take note of how this crowd of people took time away from your families and your own spare time, to go wherever you were needed, simply to ask "What's next?".

And now they're asking you to make phone calls. To pick up the phone and dial. The Phone Marathon. From November 5 to 9, each call is a vote. We have to reach everyone. We have to tell them we would like them to take part, to decide our country's political future. And as if you were in front of me right now, I can see you. I can see you seated comfortably, clearing your throat, and dialing the numbers of your friends and relatives. 
I know you're in front of your phone, you're just about to dial, and I know you'll phone the Marathon number, 93 548 08 11, for you'll also want to tell people you don't know (just think! you phoning people you don't know, you never thought you'd come to this!) to explain that our country is making a big decision on Sunday. 

Yes, the years will pass and 2014 will be a memory. History books will explain how the huge yellow wave swamped Catalonia. And you'll read it, perhaps with your spouse or your kids - or grandchildren - who knows, and when they ask what that yellow wave was, you'll smile. For you know that the yellow was you. 

Get dialing. And thank you very much.


Quim Torra
@Quimtorra
Lawyer and editor

More by this author:

If we found ourselves at the turn of the 20th-century, we'd be a group of Catalans who had invented a country out of thin air--against the will of a legitimate nation state, with only language, modernity, cosmopolitanism, and a culture of strength and hard work on our side--that is, Catalonia's fin-de-siècle anti-romanticist movement, noucentisme (new-century-ism). In an underdeveloped Spain adrift and wrought with corruption, these ideas were irresistible for liberal-minded intellectuals who believed in real progress for Europe. Doctors, linguists, activists, farmers, economists, small business owners and various writers soon came to believe in the construction of a country--their own country--as the only way to achieve this goal of existing, on our own terms, as an integral part Europe. That is to say, without Catalan nationalism, we wouldn't have gotten past a provincial status in Spain that relegated our nation and culture to a pastoral and folkloric existence. Catalan nationalism has been a transformational and modernizing read more....

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