Pro-independence activists interrupt minute’s silence accusing Spain of being behind terror attack
Protesters gathered outside European Parliament delegation to ask for ‘responsibility’
Pro-independence entities such as the Committees for the Defence of the Republic (CDR), the Catalan National Assembly (ANC), and the Council for the Republic accused Spain of being behind the 2017 La Rambla terror attack on Wednesday.
Junts per Catalunya president Laura Borràs, recently suspended as parliament speaker due to being the subject of an ongoing corruption case, was also in attendance at the protest in front of the European Parliament delegation in Barcelona, which took place after the official ceremony on the La Rambla boulevard.
The gathering, which was not backed officially by any political party, wanted to hold the Spanish government and the Spanish intelligence agency (CNI) accountable for the terrorist attack that claimed the lives of 16 people and injured dozens more in 2017. Despite links never having been proven, the organizers have asked for “responsibility” and called for Europe to intervene.
"The CNI and the government of the Spanish State were behind the attacks," the manifesto read out during the event stated.
Earlier in the morning, pro-independence activists interrupted the minute’s silence at the official commemorative event in honor of the fatal victims of the terror attack with chanting.
Around a hundred people attended the event with posters reading "We demand responsibility" and "We demand to know the truth", protesting against how the investigations into the attacks have gone, as well as against Spain.
After the floral offering, when the official event had just finished, the demonstrators continued their protest and were greeted by Borràs on La Rambla. However, her party, Junts per Catalunya, later tweeted that they condemned the interruption of the minute's silence.
President of the Unit for the Care and Assessment of Victims of Terrorism association, Robert Manrique, regretted the protest chants during the minute’s silence. He was upset that "memorial acts of the victims are used to make political points,” and said that "everyone can protest and say what they want, but doing so by taking advantage of the place where the victims are is harmful."
Videos shared on social media showed protesters confronting family members of victims after the official event.
L’acte ha acabat amb enfrontaments verbals acalorats entre familiars de les víctimes i manifestants. Les víctimes els hi han retret que no hagin respectat l’acte.Els manifestants es defensaven dient que “esteu cecs” i “jo també soc una víctima terrorista perquè soc català” pic.twitter.com/wgO2gBvfFE— Guillem Vives (@GuillemVivs) August 17, 2022