Spain’s national day rally demands prison sentences for Catalan leaders

65k people attend unionist demonstration in central Barcelona

Rally held in central Barcelona for Spain's national day (by ACN)
Rally held in central Barcelona for Spain's national day (by ACN) / ACN

ACN | Barcelona

October 12, 2018 05:40 PM

A rally held in central Barcelona on Thursday in support of Spain’s national day was attended by some 65,000 people, according to the local police. Organizers claimed that 300,000 people attended the demonstration.

Catalan pro-independence leaders became the target of harsh criticism, with protesters demanding prison sentences for former president Carles Puigdemont, exiled in Belgium, and organizers urging Spanish judges to be "consistent".

Speaking to attendees, the vice president of Spain and Catalans, Javier Megnio, said they were "legal and loyal" to the constitution. He vindicated the "dignity" of those Catalans who also feel Spanish, and stressed that "nobody can deny us the pride of being and feeling Spanish." He demanded respect for "our institutions, our king, our flag."    

Manuel Miró, a member of Societat Civil Catalana (SCC), one of Catalonia’s largest unionist organizations, told Quim Torra that "Catalonia doesn’t deserve a president" like him, as he only rules for "a fraction of Catalans".

Organizers mocked the independence referendum from last year, held despite Spain’s opposition, and staged a performance recreating a referendum for Tabàrnia, a unionist parody of the independence movement.  

The motto of the rally was ‘Barcelona, guarantor of the Spanishness’, and was attended by unionist parties, such as Ciutadans (Cs) and the People’s Party (PP), as well as by far-right parties and organizations like Vox, Plataforma per Catalunya (PxC) and Somatemps.