In 1971, during the dying years of the Franco dictatorship, the Church of Sant Agustí was the scene of a meeting to found the Assembly of Catalonia, an organisation bringing together various forces opposed to the Fascist regime.
On 7 November 1971, the first session of the Assembly of Catalonia, a united platform in the struggle against Franco, took place in this church. The Assembly was a clandestine organisation whose programme focused on four basic points: political freedoms, amnesty for political prisoners, provisional restoration of the 1932 Statute of Autonomy and coordination with other democratic forces throughout Spain. This programme was summed up in the slogan “Freedom, Amnesty, Statute of Autonomy”, which became a reference for the entire Catalan pro-democracy dissident movement. The Assembly of Catalonia provided a civic platform at which political parties shared the table with unions, residents’ associations and all kinds of civil society organisations and associations.
The platform performed important work in promoting united action and protest throughout Catalan territory, becoming the main framework for coordinating the anti-Franco movement and leading the main popular mobilisations during those times. However, the Assembly of Catalonia did not succeed in attracting more moderate sectors amongst the democratic opposition, which considered it too left-wing, despite its broad-based political plurality. The Assembly was a pioneering initiative in Spain as a whole in terms of uniting pro-democracy movements, promoting many united mobilisations, campaigns and political actions. The association also suffered harsh repression on several occasions, such as the events of 28 October 1973, when police arrested 113 members of the Assembly’s Permanent Committee whilst they took part in a clandestine meeting in the Church of Santa Maria Mitjancera.
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