“In Scotland we recently came to the end of a long and unprecedented democratic process about the future of our society. Even though the referendum did not result in a majority vote for independence, and the Yes vote lost, the process itself was an overwhelming victory for participation in politics.
It may seem that, for the people of Catalunya, still denied the opportunity to express self-determination in a legally binding vote, Scotland’s experienced a wasted opportunity. While this feeling is strong among the 1.6 million people who voted Yes, this regret is obscured by a continued engagement in Scottish politics, which seems destined to change our nation for the better, despite the recent endorsement of Westminster rule by the Scottish electorate.
Our experience was one of learning, about ourselves, and few people in Scotland now dispute the validity of the referendum campaign. Such an exercise is one that any nation should treat with respect and dignity for its own sake. After Catalunya votes on Sunday 9 November, a measure of clarity will emerge and, just as for Scotland, a significant amount of uncertainty will remain whatever the result.
The patience that is required of any people to see power returned to them is vast and the process is often painful. Yet resilience is also the greatest strength of any movement: for independence, as a goal, is more than just a destination, it is an idea that once ignited in the minds of a society cannot be erased.
For many of us, voting Yes was an act of empowerment, of confidence and collective imagination. Though we would have hoped to inspire other nations to achieve independence through our own example, our task is now to encourage the kind of participation that we saw in our referendum campaign. Such engagement can stand up to the strongest of states and grab the attention of the most distant politicians.
Perhaps the most important point we must remember is how different our histories have been. That is the true cause of self-determination and democratic renewal everywhere: to respect, empower and understand that which is distinct. This is why to vote for independence, even as an abstract idea that cannot yet be realised, is a great privilege for any country.
With this in mind, the undersigned pro-independence activists express our hope that Catalunya will vote Yes to both questions on Sunday 9 November 2014.”
Yours in Solidarity