Summer in Barcelona is high-tourist season. Everywhere you look there's someone checking a map, standing in line to see a Gaudí building, nursing a sunburn, or buying an ice cream. While lots of locals are fed up—especially with the drunk ones that sing loudly into the night or run naked through the streets—I look at tourists as potential distributors abroad of information about the Catalan independence process.
Every time I get on a metro or have a coffee in my plaça and overhear another language close by, I wish I had some way of telling them, "Hey, there's more here than meets the eye. These people want to get their country back. They want to be independent again and decide their own destiny. They want to do it peacefully and they want to vote on November 9th. And a couple million people are going to create a huge V in the middle of Barcelona to demand their right to vote, and HERE'S WHY." But it's hard, and sometimes exhausting, starting conversations with perfect strangers.
But how about giving them all copies of the book I edited last year, What's up with Catalonia? with articles written by top-notch academics, economists, writers, educators, and politicians including Catalan President Artur Mas, ERC President Oriol Junqueras, ANC President Carme Forcadell, and many more.
I can't hand out print books but in this day of electronic copies, I can sure give them electronic ones. And what if I could get lots of people to help me? I'm surely not the only person who comes into contact with people from other countries EVERY SINGLE DAY. Imagine if everyone in Catalonia had a handful of cards in their purse or backpocket so they could hand them out as they explain how to get to the Casa Batlló or the most visited museum in Catalonia, the home of FC Barcelona.
Wouldn't it be brilliant if tourists took Catalonia's story back home with them? You can help. Either pick up a bunch of What's up Bookmarks (lovingly designed by Jordi Calvís) at the ANC headquarters on Marina, 315, or contact me directly and I'll get you some. Or download the PDF file yourself and print some out (and let me know so I can keep track). And you can always just share the link.
As I've said many times before, Catalans are not waiting for people from other countries to come help or save us, we just want them to be watching the whole process. When we declare independence, we don't want it to be a surprise to anyone.
Thanks for your help.