World: Protests paralyze Catalonia as marches head for Barcelona - - PressFrom - US

World Protests paralyze Catalonia as marches head for Barcelona

17:45  18 october  2019
17:45  18 october  2019 Source:

30 people arrested during Catalan protests: police

  30 people arrested during Catalan protests: police Police in Spain said Wednesday they arrested 30 people overnight across Catalonia for their roles in clashes with police during protests over the jailing of nine separatist leader over a failed 2017 independence bid. Pro-independence groups staged sit-ins outside Spanish government offices in a number of Catalan cities late Tuesday, with around 40,000 people taking part in Barcelona and 9,000 in the separatist stronghold of Girona, according to municipal and regional police.

BARCELONA , Spain (AP) — Spain’s northeastern Catalonia region and its riot-swept regional capital, Barcelona , were paralyzed Friday by a mix of strikes and marches as it faced its fifth day of protests over the conviction of The former head of the Catalan government, Carles Puigdemont, on Friday

Pro -independence Catalonians have begun marches from five different cities and set to meet in Barcelona in two days. Tens of thousands of people have set out with plans to converge in Barcelona by Friday. Thirty people were arrested over the violence, which came after separatist

Nearly 100 injured in Catalan protests

  Nearly 100 injured in Catalan protests After another night of clashes in Catalonia which left nearly 100 people injured according to emergency services, activists again blocked roads on Thursday in the northeastern region of Spain. Several roads were blocked across Catalonia on Thursday due to marches which departed from five Catalan towns the day before heading for Barcelona, local officials said. The marchers plan to converge in Barcelona on Friday when unions have called a general strike in the region.The violence erupted on Monday just hours after Spain's Supreme Court handed down the prison sentences to nine Catalan leaders for their role in the failed independence bid in 2017.

The sentencing triggered violent protests , with pro -independence supporters taking to the streets and, in some cases, clashing with police and Hundreds of thousands of protesters were expected to march from inland towns to join the pro -independence demonstration in central Barcelona on Friday.

Peaceful protests , which have long been the hallmark of the pro -independence movement, have been eclipsed this Among those heading towards Barcelona on Friday morning was Anna Parella, a Catalonia ’s pro -independence regional president, Quim Torra, has been criticised for being slow to

BARCELONA, Spain (AP) — Catalonia and its riot-swept regional capital, Barcelona, were paralyzed Friday by a mix of strikes and marches as the northeastern Spanish region endured its fifth day of mass protests over the conviction of independence leaders.

More than 200 people have been arrested and scores injured since separatist sentiment swelled on Monday, when the Supreme Court sentenced to lengthy prison terms nine separatist politicians and activists. The nine had led a 2017 push for independence that triggered Spain's deepest political crisis in decades.

Demonstrations on Friday were mostly peaceful, but police in anti-riot gear clashed in the afternoon with young protesters hurling bottles, eggs and paint at the gates of the police headquarters in central Barcelona. That followed a calm student protest earlier in the day.

Catalan Protesters Are Told to Avoid IPhone, Stick to Android

  Catalan Protesters Are Told to Avoid IPhone, Stick to Android Catalan independence activists looking for information on how to take part in the next protest against Spain can rely on a handy, two-day old app for details on when and where to go. The only catch: the app doesn’t work on iPhones. require(["medianetNativeAdOnArticle"], function (medianetNativeAdOnArticle) { medianetNativeAdOnArticle.getMedianetNativeAds(true); }); That’s caused iPhone-wielding campaigners to ask why they’re being left out of the loop. Democratic Tsunami, the group organizing the protests, and which created the app, says it’s simply about security.

Protester held Catalan pro -independence flags outside El Prat airport in Barcelona . Puigdemont was the head of the Catalan government at the time of the independence bid, but he was not Madrid has said it is prepared to take direct control of Catalonia , as it did briefly in 2017, should leaders of

Thousands of pro -independence supporters from Spain’s northeastern region of Catalonia are pouring into Barcelona for what will be the fifth day of protests . Major roads blocked off across Catalonia and main streets in Barcelona closed to traffic in anticipation of marches .

Spanish central authorities said that at least 57 flights into and out of the region were canceled for the day due to a general strike called by pro-independence unions.

Picketers also closed off to traffic the border with France across the Pyrenees and burned tires or blocked dozens of roads and highways across the northeastern region.

Commuter and long-distance train services were significantly reduced, and many shops and factories didn't open for business. Catalan authorities said that electricity consumption, a key indicator of industrial activity, was by noon 10.1% lower than at the same time the previous day.

Tourists also felt the turmoil. At least two large cruise operators diverted their ships to other ports, and those which had already docked in the port of Barcelona cancelled the passengers' excursions to the city. Architect Antoni Gaudí's modernist Sagrada Familia also closed its doors due to a protest blocking access to the basilica.

Catalan President Makes Secession Pledge in Challenge to Spain

  Catalan President Makes Secession Pledge in Challenge to Spain Catalonia’s separatist president pledged a new push for independence, challenging the Spanish government during a tense week of violent street protests against jail terms given to leaders of a failed bid for secession in 2017. “If we all make it possible, we must be able to finish validating independence during this legislature,” regional President Joaquim Torra said during a session of the Catalan parliament on Thursday.

The protests began after nine pro -independence leaders were jailed for between nine and 13 years by Spain's Supreme Court earlier this week. In September, a march in Barcelona in support of Catalonia 's independence from Spain drew crowds of about 600,000 people - one of the lowest

Catalan police said protesters threw gasoline bombs, stones, bottles and firecrackers at them. Violence erupted in Catalonia after Spain’s Supreme The protests followed the pattern of previous days as crowds gathered during the day to block roads and hold marches demanding independence.

Naoya Suzuki, a 34-year-old tourist from Japan, complained about the disruptions to "people who have nothing to do with Spain."

"I've had a look at the news and I can just about understand why they are angry, but not why are they are doing all this and stopping the sightseeing of tourists," he said.

Highways were occupied by thousands of people joining five marches from inland towns that were expected to converge in Barcelona's city center on Friday afternoon for a mass protest alongside striking students and workers.

Farmers in tractors joined some of the so-called "Freedom marches," organized by the grassroots pro-independence ANC and Omnium groups.

That followed clashes with police that broke out in cities across the region late on Thursday, for the fourth night in a row. In the capital, a mob of far-right anti-independence activists also tried to storm a separatist protest that drew thousands of people.

Health authorities in the region said that 42 people were injured Thursday night, most of them in the capital, and the regional police arrested 16 protesters, sending eight to jail, according to Spain's Interior Ministry.

French Border Blocked as Catalan Protesters Begin Strike

  French Border Blocked as Catalan Protesters Begin Strike Pro-independence protesters blocked Spain’s main highway across the French border as a general strike got underway throughout the Catalonia region, channeling outrage at jail sentences handed down to separatist leaders earlier this week. © Photographer: Jeff J Mitchell/Getty Images Europe BARCELONA, SPAIN - OCTOBER 17: Protesters take to the streets to demonstrate after the Spanish Supreme Court sentenced nine Catalan separatist leaders to between 9 and 13 years in prison for their role of the 2017 failed Catalan referendum on October 17, 2019 in Barcelona, Spain.

Separatist protesters and pro -independence trade unions are taking part in a general strike in the Catalonia region of Spain on Friday, following long days of violent protests in the region. In the past four days, thousands of young protesters have been clashing with the Spanish police after the

Catalan protests : How safe is it to visit Barcelona ? Several roads and highways were also blocked off due to the mass marches which departed on Wednesday from five Catalan towns heading for Barcelona . IN IMAGES: 30 people arrested in Catalonia as clashes continued over second night.

The interim prime minister, Pedro Sánchez, said authorities will prosecute radicals who rioted this week while ensuring that peaceful protests can continue without incidents.

"The rule is clear," Sánchez told a press conference in Brussels, where he was attending a European Union summit. "Those who break the law have to answer for their deeds sooner or later."

Sánchez faces a general election in less than a month, and the tensions in Catalonia are a test of his political skills.

Albert Ramón, a 43-year-old public servant joining a Friday rally in the northern city of Girona, said the convictions —including fines for three more separatists— had worsened the political climate.

"These verdicts violate fundamental rights and hence people are reacting," Ramón said.

The former head of the Catalan government, Carles Puigdemont, on Friday avoided being jailed after he voluntarily testified before Belgian judicial authorities over a new warrant that Spain issued this week following the sentences.

Spain is seeking Puigdemont on possible charges of sedition and misuse of public funds after previously failing to secure his extradition from Germany and Belgium on suspicion of rebellion.

Puigdemont fled to Brussels in late 2017 following the failed attempt to establish a new European republic in the wealthy region and has since then campaigned for Catalan independence from there.

Barcelona mayor pleads for violence in Catalonia to stop

  Barcelona mayor pleads for violence in Catalonia to stop The mayor of riot-stricken Barcelona pleaded Saturday for calm after violent protests by Catalan separatists rocked Spain's second largest city for a fifth consecutive night. "This cannot continue. Barcelona does not deserve it," Mayor Ada Colau told reporters, adding that Friday's violence was the worst so far. Protesters clashed with police again later on Saturday despite efforts by some citizens to mediate by gathering between the two sides. There was also a skirmish between separatist supporters and police in a square in Spain's capital, Madrid. Authorities are bracing for more protests in the coming days.

The protests began after nine pro -independence leaders were jailed for between nine and 13 years by On Monday, thousands of protesters blocked roads to Barcelona 's El Prat airport - a major In September, a march in Barcelona in support of Catalonia 's independence from Spain drew crowds

On Monday, the Supreme Court of Spain ruled that nine of the twelve officials who stood behind the organisation of a referendum on Catalonia 's independence from Spain were guilty of treason, rebellion and the misuse of public funds.

In May, he was elected as a European lawmaker, but he wasn't sworn in because Spain's electoral board said he didn't qualify for the seat as he had failed to show up in Madrid to swear to uphold Spain's constitution.

The Belgian judge ordered his release without bail but instructed him to remain in Belgium while awaiting an Oct. 29 extradition hearing, the Belgian prosecutor's office said in a statement.

Puigdemont told reporters waiting outside of the prosecutor's office in Brussels that he did not fear justice "from a fair court."

Instability in the Catalan region has led to the postponement of next week's marquee soccer game between Barcelona and Real Madrid. The Spanish soccer federation said the game was being moved to avoid coinciding with a large separatist rally, as officials fear more violence. The two clubs have until Monday to decide on an alternative date.

Speaking about the recent wave of rioting, the caretaker Interior Minister Fernando Grande-Marlaska said that authorities are tracking "minority groups that are provoking incidents in very specific places."

His Catalan regional counterpart said the violence didn't represent the wider and peaceful separatist movement.

"The images that we are seeing in Barcelona and other Catalan towns don't match the civilized and peaceful mobilization that we have seen in the past few years," Miquel Buch said.

Emilio Morenatti, Bernat Armangue, Renata Brito, Joseph Wilson, Hernán Muñoz and Alicia León reported from Barcelona. Lorne Cook in Brussels contributed to this report.

Catalonia divided: Barcelona hosts unionist rally a day after separatist march .
Catalonia divided: Barcelona hosts unionist rally a day after separatist marchPolice said Sunday's peaceful rally drew 80,000 while organizers Societat Civil Catalana, a pro-unity umbrella group, put the turnout at 400,000.

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