'Protest and culture' activities across Catalonia underway on election's eve
Peaceful, festive atmosphere in events organized by Tsunami Democràtic, while some tension is reported between alternative rally and police in Barcelona‘s city center
Some "protest and culture" activities across Catalonia were underway on Saturday evening, the day before the Spanish election, in order to "disobey the electoral authority" and to defend fundamental rights.
Few thousands of people gathered in Barcelona's Plaça Universitat joining the call made by the anonymous pro-independence group Tsunami Democràtic, investigated on terrorism allegations by Spain's authorities.
Tsunami called some 300 events across the country, featuring dozens of musicians, writers, professionals, and activists.
Their aim is to remind Spain that "the only way" to solve the Catalan conflict "is through politics."
Hours-long activities across the country remained peaceful, with performers playing anti-Francoist and left-wing songs, among others.
Tension in alternative rally
Meanwhile, tension was being reported in the city center between another protest organized by CDR group and the police at around 8.30pm.
The Catalan law enforcement, Mossos, prevented demonstrators from getting in Plaça Urquinaona, the epicenter of the mid-October riots, prompting an angry reaction of the crowd.
Day of reflection
While political rallies are forbidden on the so-called 'day of reflection' before the election, a 2010 Constitutional Court ruling permits demonstrations as long as their capacity to influence the vote is "remote." Therefore, although the intention of Tsunami Democràtic was to "disobey" the electoral board, the latter did not ban the events.
Police reinforcement for electoral weekend
The head of the Catalan Mossos police, Eduard Sallent, ordered the deployment of the "largest number of police personnel possible" for this electoral weekend ahead of any potential unrest.
The deployment, which will include thousands of officers from all Catalan police divisions alongside both Spanish National and Guardia Civil forces, is designed to maintain order in the face of possible disruptive actions carried out by people protesting against the Supreme Court's ruling on the independence movement's leaders.
Tsunami Democràtic also called ''continued protests'' from November 11 to November 13, and although more details remain undisclosed, the group assures that it is the ''most ambitious action'' that they have proposed to date.
The group, which communicates via a group chat which now has nearly 394,000 subscribers on social media outlet Telegram, were behind the occupation of Barcelona airport that came to define the day on which the verdict to the Catalan trial, which sentenced nine of the independence leaders behind the 2017 referendum to nine to thirteen years in jail, was released.