Photos of Spanish king burned at protests across Catalonia

150 gather in Catalan capital to show monarch "not welcome" on eve of visit to Barcelona

Protesters burning images of king Felipe VI of Spain in Barcelona on October 8, 2020 (by Laura Fíguls)
Protesters burning images of king Felipe VI of Spain in Barcelona on October 8, 2020 (by Laura Fíguls) / ACN

ACN | Barcelona

October 8, 2020 08:53 PM

Over a hundred protesters gathered in Barcelona's Plaça Sant Jaume to burn photos of the king of Spain on the eve of his visit to Catalonia on Friday. 

Pro-independence civic group Catalan National Assembly (ANC) organized the demonstration to show the monarch, Felipe VI, he is "not welcome." 

Chants of "Catalonia does not have a king," "Down with the monarchy," or "Death to the Bourbons" could be heard as demonstrators lined up to burn the pictures they had brought.

Photos were also set alight outside town halls across Catalonia in an act that ANC promises will be a "prelude" to Friday's protests.   

"The Spanish state is sending its top representatives to visit Catalonia in the midst of a new spiral of repression, violation of fundamental rights, injustice, and undemocratic use of the courts," the group says. 

Human chain 

On Friday, various pro-independence groups and political parties, as well as unions and civic organizations, have called for a human chain to be set up from the Estació de França train station to the Christopher Columbus monument at the bottom of La Rambla, in the heart of the Catalan capital. 

The act will begin at 10 am from various strategic points along the planned line of the human chain. Organizers want to "make it clear" to Felipe VI that "Catalonia has no king" and that he is "not welcome" in Barcelona. 

The economics awards event that the king is attending, along with the Spanish president Pedro Sánchez, is taking place at the train station, and as such, normal service on the trains will be interrupted between the hours of 9.25 and 11.45 am. The act itself is due to take place at 10.30 am.  

CDR call protest  

Protest group CDR has also called for a protest outside Estació de França at 10 am. 

"This Friday, the leader of the Regime of 1978, Felip de Borbó, arrives in Barcelona with Pedro Sánchez. CDR will be on the street to remind him that he is not welcome," they warn. 

The group has also announced that they will be protesting “to fight against the political heir of Franco,” the fascist dictator that ruled Spain for around 40 years during the 20th century. 

Little support for royal family 

The Catalan public shows little support for the royal family, according to the Catalan government's Center for Opinion Studies (CEO). 

In the last poll published in July this year, the crown got 1.59 points out of 10, its worst score since 2014, coinciding with former king Juan Carlos' alleged corruption case that resulted in him leaving Spain for the UAE. 

Polls also showed a decrease in the popularity of the king after the autumn 2017 independence push. 

Felipe gave a rare speech on October 3, 2017, two days after the referendum, where he blasted the Catalan government for having organized it without authorization from Spain – he made no mention of the 1,000 injuries caused by the Spanish police operation on October 1.