Thousands of people took to the streets in Barcelona: Catalans want independence from Spain

The march through the center of the Catalan capital was prepared by the Catalan National Assembly (ANC). It is the first such action since the pardon of nine Catalan separatist leaders who have been imprisoned for their role in a failed 2017 bid for independence. The events of that time provoked the greatest political crisis in Spain in decades.

Police say the parade in the streets of Barcelona 108,000 people joined today. However, the ANC claims that almost 400,000 Catalans came to manifest. Even so, there are less than 600,000 who took part in the march on La Diada Day two years ago. Last year, attendance was significantly lower due to the covid pandemic. Most of the protesters, including several of the nine pardoned politicians and activists, according to Reuters, had their faces covered today.

“For the first time in four years, nine very important people took part in La Diada again. Political prisoners are back on the streets. “ ANC Chair Elisenda Paluzie welcomed the presence of pardoned separatist officials on today’s march.

Separatist political leaders were convicted of a revolt in 2019 because they called a referendum in Catalonia on the region’s independence, despite opposition from the Madrid government and the courts. They spent about 3.5 years behind bars, before they were released at the mercy of the Spanish government in June this year.

A holiday called Catalonia’s Day (La Diada) commemorates the conquest of Barcelona in 1714 during the Spanish Heritage Wars. In the last decade, Catalan separatists have been marching on this holiday.

The current demonstration took place at a time of lower tensions between Barcelona and Madrid than in previous years, as the central and regional governments now favor dialogue, despite opposing views on Catalonia’s independence.. Representatives of the two governments are expected to meet in Barcelona next week to resume talks on the political conflict in Catalonia, which have been suspended since February 2020. However, the Spanish Prime Minister Pedro S├ínchez has not yet confirmed whether he will also take part in this meeting.

Source: by

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