Pro-independence activists stay overnight in old prison
Members of CDR group squat building ‘for Republic and dignity' during protest to demand freedom for jailed leaders and stay for almost a full day
A group of pro-independence activists stayed overnight in Barcelona's old La Model prison after having squatted it on Saturday evening during a 110k to 200k-strong protest to demand freedom for the nine political leaders who are incarcerated.
The individuals in La Model prison are part of the Committees for the Defense of the Republic (CDR) movement.
On Sunday early afternoon they called the protest off.
The prison is no longer in use, and the activists prepared several activities on Sunday morning including a breakfast open to the public, and some open doors of the penitentiary center.
The CDR group squatted the building "for the Republic, for our Bastille, for dignity," and because they "continue standing." They also said they would "allow not even a step backwards."
"It's been a lot of months since we started suffering the injustice of having political prisoners."
The activists have said that they will not stop mobilizing "until the legitimate demands of the Catalan people are accepted."
The Catalan president, Quim Torra, visited the activists in the prison on Saturday evening, along with some relatives of the jailed leaders.
This, after a march to demand the nine jailed leaders to be freed which ended outside La Model prison, closed a year ago after 113 years up and running.
Over the years La Model prison has become a symbol of the fascist dictator Franco's regime.
'Neither prison nor exile, we want you home'
The march started in Barcelona's city center at 7pm with a clear motto: 'Neither prison nor exile, we want you home."
The Catalan capital's local police estimated that 110,000 attended the protest, while organizers raised this figure to 200,000.
The people who took the streets of Barcelona included the country's two top authorities, president Quim Torra and parliament speaker Roger Torrent.