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Tension in front of Parliament as pro-independence protesters make it to front door

Police intervene to clear the area in front of the chamber and evict protesters facing Spanish police station

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01 October 2018 10:35 PM

by

ACN | Barcelona

Barcelona saw scenes of tension on Monday after a big demonstration to remember the October 1 referendum, which gathered more than 180,000 people.

Although the main demonstration remained peaceful, a handful of protesters stayed on the streets and the police ended up intervening.

At the end of the march, and when most people were already leaving, an isolated group tried to break the police cordon and get closer to the Parliament building.

Dozens of people shouted 'let's occupy Parliament' while chanting criticisms against the Catalan police. They managed to make it to the Parliament doors, where they put up posters with messages such as 'Republic under construction.'

The Catalan police, the Mossos d'Esquadra, intervened in force at around 10pm to evacuate the area.

A second area of tensions took place in front of the Spanish police station in Via Laietana. Some protesters stayed there and chanted things like 'Get out, occupying forces!' or 'This building will become a library.'

The Mossos d'Esquadra intervened using force to evacuate the area.

Politicians' reaction

The leader of the opposition, Inés Arrimadas, had to leave Parliament under police protection due to the protest. She tweeted a video of how she left escorted by police officers and facing insults by people protesting in Parliament.

She regretted the presence of "separatists' commandos" in the Catalan chamber. Earlier that day, had criticized President Quim Torra for encouraging protesters and being, she said, the leader of a "separatist mob."

Meanwhile, from Brussels, former President Carles Puigdemont said that pro-independence supporters are never violent and suggested there were people infiltrated in the protest to cause unrest."If they had their hoods up they're not part of Oct 1. If they use violence they aren't part of Oct 1. We did it showing our faces, peacefully. That's how we won, one year ago, against an authoritarian state. Who has an interest in infiltrating violence?", he said.

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  • Protesters at the doors of the Catalan Parliament (by ACN)

  • Protesters at the doors of the Catalan Parliament (by ACN)