300,000 rally in Barcelona to reject the independence declaration
‘Puigdemont, to prison,’ among the chants heard in the demonstration
Barcelona’s city center saw a 300,000-strong demonstration, according to local police, to reject the Declaration of Independence voted on in the Catalan parliament on Friday. The main unionist parties supported the march, including the Catalan branch of the Spanish ruling party, the People’s Party, as well as Ciudadanos and the Catalan Socialists. The organizing civil society, Societat Civil Catalana, claimed that 1.3 million people attended the rally. Far-right parties such as Democracia Nacional, Plataforma per Catalunya and fascist Falange Española also supported the event.
“The streets are everyone’s,” claimed Societat Civil Catalana vice president, Àlex Ramos. According to him, the snap election called by Mariano Rajoy in Catalonia for December 21 will work to “restore the institutions and to redirect the social and economic future.” The former president of the European Parliament Josep Borrell also took part of the march. “I hope that justice does its job soon and demands those who are harming Catalonia in this way to take responsibility,” he said.
"I hope that justice does its job soon and asks for responsibilities to all the people who are harming Catalonia this way"
Josep Borrell · Former European Parliament president
'Long live Spain and Catalonia'
“We are all Catalonia. For coexistence, reason” read the motto of the demonstration. Chants from demonstrators included ‘Long live Spain and Catalonia’, ‘I am Spanish, Spanish, Spanish’ and ‘Puigdemont, to prison.’ They were referring to the Catalan president, who under Spanish law, lost his post on Saturday after the Spanish president, Mariano Rajoy, dismissed him. Demonstrators held Spanish, Catalan and European flags.
Demonstrations from both sides in the past few weeks
So far the most successful unionist demonstration ever in the country was held on October 8, one week after the independence referendum. According to the local police, 350,000 people took part in the march. Several pro-independence rallies exceeded that figure in the past few weeks, with a million of protesters on September 11, the Catalan National Day. 700,000 gathered on October 3 to reject police violence during the referendum while 450,000 protested against the imprisonment of two civil pro-independence leaders on October 21.