Barricades, traffic jams, stoppages: protests called against Spanish government visit
Shops owners concerned about Christmas sales potentially being affected
December 21 is set to be a special day in Catalonia, and especially in Barcelona. Not only because the Spanish government will unprecedentedly hold its cabinet meeting next Friday in the Catalan capital, but also for the protests and strikes against the visiting officials expected on that day.
The CDR pro-independence group of activists has already called on the public to be present early in the morning outside the spot where the meeting will take place, the Llotja de Mar, a medieval building formerly used as a gathering point for tradesmen by the sea.
"Barricades can cut off a street, but open a path"
They have not given more details, but they said through the social networks that "barricades can cut off a street, but open a path."
Moreover they are using the hashtag #TombemelRègim (let's collapse the regime, in English) on social networks.
"Massive concentration of vehicles"
The pro-independence ANC organization also announced protests against the Spanish government on December 21.
"Early in the morning we will leave from across Catalonia for Barcelona, and will quietly hold a massive concentration of vehicles," tweeted the organization on Thursday.
"Popular cabinet meeting"
Another large civic organization in favor of a Catalan state, Òmnium, has called a 'popular cabinet meeting' in the Catalan capital at 11am, which will be a political event to also reject the visit of the Madrid officials.
Òmnium has said the protests have to be "determined and peaceful." Its president, Jordi Cuixart, in pre-trial jail, has called the public for "serenity and intelligence."
Stopping lectures at University
Meanwhile, a students' trade union, SEPC, and the organization Universitats per la República (Universities for the Republic) have called for stopping lectures in order to also "stop" the Spanish cabinet meeting.
"We have to show rejection of those who threaten us with imposing direct rule again and do not respect the right to self-determination," said a spokeswoman for Universitats per la República.
A minor trade union in Catalonia, Intersindical-CSC, has also called for a general strike from 12:30 to 2:30pm on December 21.
An association of taxi drivers have called a strike for December 21, to protest against the latest Spanish government’s measures to regulate peer-to-peer ridesharing companies such as Uber. This will coincide with a strike called by a trade union of Spain's train network public operators and managers, Renfe and Adif, in the whole of Spain.
Shop owners concerned
Several associations of shop owners in Catalonia have urged "social and institutional normality" on December 21, as they are concerned for a potential disruption to Christmas sales.
"The day cannot be conflictive, it needs to be reminded that the Christmas shopping campaign is the most important one in the year for Catalan trade," say 11 associations in a statement.
As a reaction, the Catalan government has called for peaceful demonstrations to preserve trade on that day.
"The question is: why is a Spanish cabinet meeting being held here? Would we save problems and incidents if it weren't held here? The question is more than obvious," said the business minister, Àngels Chacón. "What is the final aim of the meeting?" she asked.