Manifestos of condemnation and a minute’s silence at the two annual festivals, which started up again after three days of official mourning.
The Gràcia and Sants festivals have shown their solidarity with the people affected by the La Rambla attack with a manifesto condemning it and a minute’s silence. Gràcia held the final events and closed its festival this Monday, 21, with the presentation of the decorated streets prizes, while Sants kicked off its festival with the traditional opening speech.
The Gràcia and Sants festivals have shown their support for the victims of the attacks, which so far have left 15 dead and over a hundred injured, with two respective manifestos of condemnation, in favour of peace and against violence. “We are working hard to find a way to peace and freedom, against fear and hate”, said the chair of Gràcia District Council, Gerard Ardanuy, and the Gràcia city councillor, Eloi Badia. “We will take to the streets as many times as we have to in order to show we are not afraid and will keep going”, added the chair of the Sants-Montjuïc Associations’ Secretariat, Lluïsa Erill. The reading of the manifesto was preceded by a minute’s silence in each neighbourhood which, in Vila de Gràcia, concluded with 15 children symbolically letting go 15 white balloons.
The day the two festivals returned to normal following three days of mourning was a busy one. The last day of the Festa Major de la Vila de Gràcia saw the return of the evening concerts and the presentation of the Decorated Street Competition prizes, postponed from last Thursday. First place went to Travessia de Sant Antoni. In Sants, that joy went to Carrer de Finlàndia. Here, the prize-giving ceremony was held after the pregó, the speech that officially opens the festival and which usually coincides with Sant Magí’s Day, on 19 August. This year it had been delayed by the attack.
The Mayor, Ada Colau, thanked the people of Gràcia and Sants for the effort they had made to adapt the festival celebrations and being able to rise to the occasion. “You’ve struck the right balance, showing the pain you feel and offering your condolences by suspending the activities but going ahead with the festival, as you should, because life must go on”, she said in Vila de Gràcia. “In the face of hate and terror, Long live the Sants Festival!”, she cried.