Protests in support of jailed leaders as trial draws to a close
Tens of thousands demonstrate all over Catalonia on Wednesday evening as defendants make final statements in Supreme Court
With the trial of Catalan independence leaders in Spain's Supreme Court drawing to a close, a number of demonstrations took place around Catalonia on Wednesday evening.
The protests were called by the National Catalan Assembly (ANC) and Òmnium Cultural civic groups, along with the pro-independence JxCat, ERC and CUP political parties.
Under the slogan “Llibertat: l’autodeterminació és un dret” (Freedom: self-determination is a right), the largest of them began at 8pm in Barcelona's Catalunya square.
The demonstrations mirror the protests that took place on February 16 to mark the start of the trial of 12 politicians and activists charged over the independence bid in 2017.
On that day, up to half a million people protested in Barcelona alone, with a similar number expected to turn out in support of the jailed leaders on Wednesday.
Meanwhile, the Òmnium organization put up huge screens in places around the country so that people could watch the defendants' final statements in court.
In Barcelona, the screen was installed on the Lluís Companys boulevard, near Arc de Triomf, in Independència square in Girona, in Pau Casals square in Lleida, and on the Rambla Nova Avenue in Tarragona.