Several three-day marches kick off across Catalonia
Thousands set off in the early morning, all expected to come together in a major rally in Barcelona on Friday
The third day of protests for the freedom of the imprisoned political leaders has kicked off in Cataloniawith various three-day marches beginning across various cities.
Participants set off this morning - 10,000 from central Catalan city Vic, 7,000 from Girona, 2,000 from Tàrrega, 1,000 from Tarragona, and nearly 1,000 from Berga. Several relatives of the imprisoned and exiled leaders will take part in the initiative.
There will be major disruptions and closures for several main roads in Catalonia that connect with Barcelona, such as the A-2, C-16, N-340, C-31 and AP-7.
Student unions have also called a 3-day strike that started on Wednesday morning. All of these people will come together in Barcelona on Friday in a major rally.
March from Tàrrega set to block A-2
Protesters of all ages set off from Tàrrega at the earliest hour of all of the marches, at 7am from the 'Plaça del Carme.' Three lanes of the A-2 towards Barcelona will be closed.
Tarragona sets off early as mayor participates
The march from Tarragona began at 7.30am at Palmeres avenue, including pro-independence politicians. Mayor of Tarragona Pau Ricomà is among those marching, as well as Territory adviser Damià Calvet and the number one candidate for the Tarragona constituency of Junts per Catalunya, Ferran Bel.
Tractors at the back of Berga march
Nearly 1,000 people set off from northern Catalan city Berga at 8am from the 'Plaça Guernika', and will head along the C-66. Protesters are carrying signs demanding the freedom of the political leaders and demanding independence. A few tractors are at the back of the march.
Loved ones of political leaders set off in 10,000-strong march Vic
At 9am, hundreds of people from northern city Vic set off from the 'Plaça U d’octubre' with about 20 tractors at the head of the protests. Among those marching are the wife of imprisoned politician Jordi Turull, Blanca Bragulat, the sister of exiled leader Toni Comín, and the wife of former interior minister Joaquim Forn, Laura Masvidal.
Relatives of political leaders march from Girona
A 7,000-strong rally from Girona set off from the 'Plaça U d’octubre', including relatives of Dolors Bassa and Carles Puigdemont. Tractors will also drive the march, which will head down the AP-7.
Officials call for non-violence after chaotic 48 hours
It has been a turbulent few days in Catalonia following the announcement that 9 of the independence leaders behind the October 1 referendum in 2017 would receive jail sentences of between 9 and 13 years.
Monday’s verdict sparked immediate protests on the streets, before pro-independence group Tsunami Democràtic organized mass protests at Barcelona airport, which led to clashes with police, cancelled flights on Monday and Tuesday and damage to the infrastructure.
Although no protests were directly called by Tsunami Democràtic on Tuesday, many roads were closed in various areas of Catalonia in the morning. Peaceful protests continued throughout the day but escalated deep into the night, with more clashes with police and barricades set on fire.
Some of Catalonia’s top officials have since called for protests to be non-violent, amidst fears that Madrid will impose direct rule on Catalonia.