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Thousands converge on Barcelona for fifth day of Catalan protests

Last updated on October 18, 2019

A number of the marchers started their journeys into the city on Wednesday by municipalities throughout the northeastern Spanish region, following the Supreme Court sentenced two separatists up to 13 years in prison within a failed bid to break away from Spain from 2017.

The paragraphs put off the worst continuing road violence Spain has seen in years, and Friday’s protests, which also include employees on strike, will be closely watched by police in Madrid.

“During this week, as you know, there were violent episodes in Catalonia. They’ve been organized… by teams that are a minority but are extremely organized,” Interior Minister Fernando Grande-Marlaska told a news conference. “Their activities, as we’ve said, will likewise not go unpunished.”

Friday’s marches have been peaceful, which range from families pushing prams to bikers wheeling their bikes and people draped from the ancestral independence flag, that shot over a highway lane along with other significant streets as they walked towards the Catalan capital. A few in Barcelona stood by the side of the streets, applauding as the walkers came.

Several main roads in Barcelona were shut to visitors in anticipation of their marches. Regional trains along with the city’s subway were running to a reduced timetable after pro-independence unions called a hit.

Barcelona’s most important landmark, the multi-spired Sagrada Familia cathedral designed by Antoni Gaudi, was closed down because of the protests, an official told Reuters.

The Spanish football federation (RFEF) said in an announcement on this Barcelona’s Oct. 26 home game against Real Madrid, among the greatest rivalries in the game, was postponed because of safety issues.

FLIGHTS CANCELLED

Barcelona’s El Prat airport canceled 57 flights on Fridayairport operator Aena explained.

Barcelona town hall stated 700 crap containers had been set ablaze since protests started on Monday and estimated that the town had endured damage totaled over 1.5 million euros ($1.67 million).

Thursday started with mostly peaceful protests as young folks draped in Catalan flags chucked chunks and jumped rope. The mood changed later in the nighttime time, using protesters setting fire to cafe seats lining the trendy Rambla de Catalunya road in the center of Barcelona’s tourist spot.

An official in Barcelona city hall said about 10 trees were put on fire Thursday.

Regional authorities said 16 people were detained across Catalonia on Thursday, while health officials stated medical aid was supplied to 42 individuals.

Carmaker Seat, a component of Volkswagen AG, stopped production at its plant in Martorell, near Barcelona, from Thursday afternoon until Saturday, over worries that the marches would interrupt traffic, a company spokeswoman said.

Barcelona’s wholesale marketplace, MercaBarna, stated visits to its fish sellers were down 85 percent on Friday, while flower sellers in the market saw 90 percent fewer clients.

Pro-independence leaders moved forward using a 2017 referendum on independence, despite it had been deemed prohibited by Spanish courts, accompanied by a statement that the area was breaking away from Spain. Madrid reacted by seizing control of the Catalan government and placing the ringleaders on trial.

Catalonia’s former boss Carles Puigdemont, who fled to Belgium following the failed independence bid, on Friday told reporters that French police had permitted him to stay free without bail following Spain’s Supreme Court targeted him by a European arrest warrant.