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'Freedom' - Mass rally against imprisonment of Catalan leaders

350,000 flood Barcelona's Marina street to reject the sentencing of 9 pro-independence leaders to lengthy prison terms

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26 October 2019 05:34 PM

by

ACN | Barcelona

Thousands of pro-independence supporters flooded Barcelona's Marina street on Saturday afternoon to reject the sentencing of 9 Catalan leaders to lengthy prison terms.

According to local police, 350,000 people attended the rally.

The rally came almost two weeks after Spain's Supreme Court announced the long-awaited verdict for the 2017 independence push, which saw over two million Catalans voting in a referendum deemed illegal by Spain.

With prison sentences of up to 13 years, the verdict immediately sparked widespread protests in Catalonia when it was announced on the 14th of October, with thousands of protesters occupying the Barcelona airport.

This week saw tensions cool down after Barcelona and other Catalan towns descended into unrest for 5 days straight after the Supreme Court ruling came out.

Òmnium Cultural and the Catalan National Assembly, the largest pro-independence civil society organizations in Catalonia, stressed that "protests won't stop until [Spain] respects Catalonia's self-determination and continues to have political prisoners".

Via Laietana protest

When the rally came to an end later in the afternoon, many demonstrators moved to Via Laietana, where the Committees in Defense of the Republic (CDR) had called a protest in front of the Spanish police headquarters.

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  • Thousands of pro-independence supporters hold a protest at Barcelona's Marina street (by Mariona Puig)

  • Thousands of pro-independence supporters hold a protest at Barcelona's Marina street (by Mariona Puig)