The Catalan Way, also known as the Catalan Way towards Independence, was a 480 km human chain in support of Catalan independence from Spain. It was organized by the Assemblea Nacional Catalana (ANC), and took place in Catalonia on 11 September 2013, which is the National Day of Catalonia.
Catalonia's Department of the Interior estimated the number of participants at about 1.6 million. The protest was supported by 14 nongovernmental groups. The human chain followed the ancient Via Augusta, from Le Perthus France, Vallespir up to Alcanar Spain, Montsià. According to Carme Forcadell, president of the ANC, it was "a symbol of the unity of Catalan people to achieve national sovereignty".
The Catalan independence or separatism (Catalan: Independentisme català; Eastern Catalan: [indəpəndənˈtizmə kətəˈɫa], Western Catalan: [independenˈtizme kataˈla] movement is a political movement, derived from Catalan nationalism, which supports the independence of Catalonia or the Catalan countries from Spain and France. Support for Catalan independence is based on the thesis from the 19th century that Catalonia is a nation, derived from contemporary political and cultural ideology based on the history of Catalonia, the Catalan language and Catalan traditions.
The beginnings of the separatism can be traced back to the early 20th century, when some organisations and political parties started demanding full independence of Catalonia from Spain.
During the following years, and mainly because of the Franco regime's oppression of Spanish and Catalan people and culture, the movement gained more sympathizers.
More recently, there has been a substantial increase in the number of people who openly consider themselves independentists, which led to massive demonstrations with more than 1 million participants claiming the self-determination right for Catalonia, and non-binding and unofficial referendums in municipalities around Catalonia.
Although the ruling party (pro-independence) lost some deputies in the parliament of Catalonia because of the austerity cuts, after 2012 elections, the majority of the parliament in Catalonia is favorable to conducting a referendum of independence, and 55% of it is composed of openly separatist parties. The Estelada flag, in its blue and red versions, has become its main symbol