Pro-independence rally calls for implementation of Catalan Republic
45,000 demonstrators support a "republican government" and hold a minute's silence for incarcerated Catalan leaders
Pro-independence supporters took to the streets in Barcelona on Sunday. The protesters called for the implementation of the Catalan Republic, and supported the formation of a "republican government" (meaning pro-independence) in a rally held in the centre of the Catalan capital. The rally was aimed at endorsing the commitment to the results of the October 1 independence referendum and the victory of the pro-independence parties in the December 21 election. According to police figures, around 45,000 people attended the gathering.
The demonstration started at 5p.m, and filled the roads between the Columbus monument and Ciutadella park in Barcelona under the slogan ‘Republic now’. It was called by one of the major pro-independence organizations, Assemblea Nacional Catalana (ANC). Pro-independence supporters shouted chants such as 'Puigdemont is our president', 'Freedom for political prisoners' and 'We voted for the Republic'. They also chanted the Catalan anthem, 'Els segadors', and held a minute's silence for the incarcerated Catalan leaders.
A tribute to the involvement of everyday people
The organizers wanted to focus attention on the involvement of everyday people, from the firefighters who defended polling places on October 1 to the Reus mechanic charged with hate crimes. Yet it also had a strong political component, since protesters call on pro-independence parties to form a new government to implement the Catalan Republic.