Carlos Resino Sports Editor, The Pawprint
Tens of thousands of people joined a protest in Barcelona last month protesting against the independence from Spain, and calling for unity across the country and peaceful co-existence with Catalonia. Following the violent unrest of the past fortnight, a demonstration was organised by Societat Civil Catalana (SCC), an umbrella group of political parties and civic bodies that want Catalonia to remain part of Spain, which was attended by about 80,000 people, according to local police- although the SCC put the attendance at 400,000.
Earlier last month (October 14), the Spanish Supreme Court announced their ruling on the case against 12 Catalan leaders for their role in the 2017 referendum on Catalan independence. Nine were sentenced between 9 to 13 years in prison. The charges included: sedition, misappropriation of government funds, and civil disobedience. Oriol Junqueras, former vice-president of Cataluña, received the longest sentence of 13 years, while other Catalan prime ministers received between 8 and 10 years.
Not surprisingly the verdict has created a big level of indignation. Within hours of the verdicts publication, thousands of citizens ran to the Barcelona airport for a demonstration that disrupted plane travels for days.
Since then, massive displays of violent and non-violent protests have been going on in Barcelona to the point that the RFEF (Real Federation of Spanish Football) had to postpone El Clasico between Barcelona and Real Madrid due to security reasons and they still haven’t been able to decide on an official day.
On October 18, there were a lot of nightly acts of vandalism involving large groups of protesters who; erected barricades, set dumpsters on fire, threw rocks, torched hundreds of parked cars, and threw Molotov Cocktails at the police leaving a dozen officers badly injured, one with a fractured skull.
This is not only happening in Barcelona. On October 19th, 42,000 people gathered in the streets of San Sebastian, in the Basque Country and 4,000 people were involved in violent clashes between the police in Madrid.