Barcelona turns blue and yellow again for latest Ukraine demonstration

Ukrainians urged 'Stop the War' and for NATO to declare the country a no-fly zone in new protest

Gerard Escaich Folch | Barcelona

March 6, 2022 01:24 PM

Ukrainians took to the streets once again under a drizzled midday Sunday to urge to "Stop the War" in their country that Russian president Vladimir Putin started on February 24. Despite the cloudy and cold weather, several hundred people demonstrated in Plaça Catalunya square in Barcelona's city center.

The demonstration gathered around 800 people according to Barcelona's Guàrdia Urbana police. At the start, a choir sang Ukraine’s national anthem and continued with several speeches by politicians, public figures such as Catalan National Assembly's Elisenda Paluzie, and Ukrainians residing in Catalonia.

One of the main claims during the demonstration was for Putin to stop his invasion of Ukraine. Another request to authorities is for NATO to declare a no-fly zone on the country to avoid any more aerial bombardments.

In fact, during the protest, all those present at Barcelona’s square listened to the siren that millions of Ukrainians hear on a daily basis when they are being attacked. At that moment, speakers on top of the stage kneed to resemble what residents in Ukraine have to do to protect themselves.

Among those demonstrating, Victoria, a Ukrainian citizen living in Catalonia for over five years. She has friends and family in Kyiv and they spend their nights at a shelter as their homes have been destroyed.

"It is difficult, everyone close to me is still alive, thank God, but everything is really difficult," Victoria told to the Catalan News Agency (ACN).

"We need for Russia to stop killing Ukrainians," she added. Like many others in the demonstration, Victoria urged NATO to declare her country a no-fly zone. The vast majority of Russian missiles are dropped on "residential buildings, schools, kindergartens, and hospitals," she told ACN.   

"We hope that authorities listen to us and accept our request," Michael, one of the organizers, said to ACN. 

However, the demonstration also helped to "show Ukrainians that Barcelona accompanies them," he added before encouraging locals to give food, medicines, and money to help the country.

Listen to our podcast on the impact of the Ukraine war in Catalonia with voices from those protesting on a daily basis to defend their country.

Humanitarian aid in Catalonia

Catalonia's Ukrainian community has set up a number of points in Barcelona and beyond where donations of humanitarian aid can be made. 

Several truckloads of supplies have already been dispatched, with the Ukrainian consulate in Barcelona coordinating the logistics of transporting the goods gathered by various groups. 

The site where all the collected material ends up going is 9, La Rambla, in Barcelona, in a Greek-Catholic church. Vans and trucks are going to Ukraine from there. 

Aid organizations are particularly seeking donations of defense material, first aid equipment, medicines, long-lasting food and warm clothes, as well as boxes to carry them and trucks and drivers to transport them.