Cohesion, that is crucial if a people wants to achieve something. It needs the will and the courage to change something. And that could be felt at the Independence Day in Merano. The Tyroleans are taking their future into their own hands again.
It was a folk festival of a special kind, an atmospheric celebration for young and old and at the same time a breathtaking expression of will in the former capital of the Tyrol. Apart from the fact that the South Tyroleans culturally and linguistically do not belong to Italy at all, the people have realized that it is also possible without Italy. And that Italy is holding back their own development. They are convinced that it is the path of independence that must be taken.
Other peoples striving for independence from all over Europe were also present: representatives from Catalonia, Flanders, Scotland, Veneto, Tuscany, Trieste, Lombardy and the Basque Country. These peoples all have one thing in common: they all belong to a state that is not theirs. They want to determine their own future. Side by side they fight with the South Tyroleans for a real freedom without foreign domination. Greetings from the European peoples followed.
Steven Vergauwen, spokesman of the Flemish popular movement VVB stressed that Flanders fully supports the demand of the South Tyroleans to make the fascist monuments and relics disappear from South Tyrol. "Together we will continue to work to achieve our ultimate goal. A free Flanders and a free Tyrol," Vergauwen concluded.
Speaking for Veneto, Alberto Montagner of Raixe Venete said, "They do not give us the right to decide, they do not give us our self-determination, we are not masters of our own destiny. No political force is willing to give us the autonomy that we have demanded and that we are historically and economically entitled to."
"It is so exciting to participate again with the rest of our ICEC colleagues in iatz! day. Thank you for your determination and hospitality, you are truly a great partner in the struggle for freedom," said Anna Arqué from Catalonia. Regarding the self-determination referendum in Catalonia on October 1, 2017, Arqué stressed, "Some of you were there as international election observers at that time. We thank you for that. You are living witnesses of what that meant for Catalans and democrats in general."
Robin McAlpine of the Scottish Independence Convention put it aptly, "We are not going forward as one country, we are going forward as many countries together into this future of independence. Our future is stronger precisely because we are smaller."
Interrupted again and again by great applause, the keynote speech of Stefan Liensberger, captain of the Onacher Schützen, was then delivered: "Let us stand up for what is close to our hearts. Let us not miss the thought of freedom any more, not one day and not one night. There is no thank you for that now, but our children will say Vergelt's Gott," said Liensberger, who gave his speech in the Puster dialect. "As the saying goes, all roads lead to Rome. Conversely, however, this also means that enough roads also lead away from Rome!", Liensberger emphasized in conclusion.
Injustice borders can be corrected peacefully in Europe, history has already taught us that. Germany was also unexpectedly reunited in 1989, contrary to all predictions. "It takes the courage to confess, because nothing is forever, and nothing is for eternity," concluded the organizer of Independence Day.