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General strike in Catalonia to reject referendum verdict - live updates

Roads blocked, Seat car production halted, cultural events cancelled, electricity usage drop as big demonstration where marches will converge is expected

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18 October 2019 08:54 AM

by

ACN | Barcelona

Catalonia is holding a general strike this Friday in order to reject the guilty verdict on the 2017 referendum leaders.

From early in the morning, citizens supporting the protest are blocking several roads including the country's two highways: AP-7 (in La Jonquera, near the French border) and AP-2 (in Tarrés, in the west).

Some other roads across Catalonia were also been cut off by protesters joining the strike, including N-II, N-340, C-25, C-55, C-14, N-145 and C-12, as well as several key avenues in Barcelona. Some public transport lines are also interrupted.

This Friday is set to be the fifth day of protests, marches and demonstrations. The strike has already had some impact, including a decrease in the electricity usage, a halt in the production of Seat car manufacturer factory, and the suspension of all sort of events in the country.

In the afternoon, a big demonstration at 5pm will see the five 100-km marches towards Barcelona from several Catalan cities lasting three days converge. 

Reasons for the strike

Pro-independence trade unions Intersindical-CSC and IAC called the stoppage shortly before the judges’ decision.

They say the reason for the strike is that their long-standing demands have not yet been met, including a higher minimum wage and equality-promoting measures.

While neither trade union made any explicit mention of the Supreme Court verdict - the law prohibits unions from calling strikes for political reasons - they say they are committed to Catalonia’s national rights, which they also believe affect labor rights.

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  • Image of some 200 demonstrators blocking the N-145 road near the Andorran border on October 18, 2019 (by Marta Lluvich)

  • Image of some 200 demonstrators blocking the N-145 road near the Andorran border on October 18, 2019 (by Marta Lluvich)

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