Protests continue across country into the evening

Main pro-independence groups call candle-lit demos outside Spanish government delegations in major cities

Protesters with a sign reading “Spain is a fascist state” in Barcelona (by Lluís Sibils)
Protesters with a sign reading “Spain is a fascist state” in Barcelona (by Lluís Sibils) / ACN

ACN | Barcelona

October 15, 2019 06:50 PM

The protests against the jailing of nine Catalan pro-independence leaders by Spain's Supreme Court continued around Catalonia on Tuesday, albeit not with the numbers that saw railroads and Barcelona airport brought to a standstill the previous day.

While a number of highways, such as the AP-7 at Girona, the C-31 at Verges and the C-25 at Gurb, were blocked by protestors, in the afternoon marches also took place along some of Barcelona's main avenues, such as Gran Via, Paral·lel and in Plaça Espanya square.

Meanwhile, the two main pro-independence civil groups, ANC and Òmnium, were behind major candle-lit demonstrations that took place outside the offices of the Spanish government's delegations in the cities of Barcelona, Girona, Lleida, and Tarragona.

The network of protest groups known as Committees for the Defense of the Republic (CDR) joined the ANC and Òmnium demonstration in Barcelona, via two marches at 6:30 pm that left from Jardinets de Gràcia and Plaça Universitat.

This Barcelona march attracted some 40,000 people, and while it started quite peacefully, closer to the actual government offices there were police charges against protesters and later on, trash cans were lit on fire on Passeig de Gràcia. 

There were also police charges in front of the Spanish government delegations in both Tarragona and Girona. 

The Tsunami Democràtic protest group, which organized the occupation of the airport on Monday, told people to watch social media for the announcement of "a new challenge" on Tuesday as part of "a cycle of nonviolent civil disobedience."

Two men seriously injured in airport clashes

The clash between protestors and Spanish and Catalan police at the airport on Monday, which saw scores of flights canceled, has so far been the largest protest organized since the Supreme Court published the leaders' sentences.

Some 24 people had to be admitted to hospital after the protest, and on Tuesday, doctors reported they had been unable to save the eye of a 22-year-old man injured - likely from the impact of a rubber bullet - during the clashes with police.

Also on Tuesday, it was reported that another man, aged 30, lost part of one of his testicles after an operation at the Hospital Clínic in Barcelona. The man's family said he had sustained the injury after a Spanish police officer hit him between the legs with a baton.