750,000 Protesters Clog Barcelona Streets, Demands Release Of "Political Prisoners"

Hundreds of thousands of people - 750,000 according to Barcelona police - backing Catalonia's bid to secede from Spain clogged the streets in downtown Barcelona Saturday to demand the release of jailed separatist leaders.


Close to a million people filled the length of the Avenue Marina that runs from the beach to Barcelona's iconic Sagrada Familia church, while the jailed leaders' families made speeches.

As AP reports, the rally's grassroots organizers called for 10 prominent members of the secessionist movement in the northeastern Spanish region to be freed from prison.

Eight former members of Catalonia's dissolved Cabinet and two activists are in jail while Spanish authorities investigate their alleged roles in promoting an illegal declaration of independence last month in violation of Spain's Constitution.

A separate court in Madrid granted bail on Thursday to another six Catalan lawmakers - including Catalan parliament's speaker Carme Forcadell - also being investigated over the secession push. Forcadell was released after agreeing to renounce any political activity that went against the Spanish constitution, according to the court's ruling, in effect banning her from campaigning for independence in the December election. Those terms threaten to undermine the independence movement just as cracks are starting to appear and tensions rise between the grassroots and their leaders.

Still, there were few cracks on display Saturday: "We want to tell the world that we want freedom for our prisoners and freedom for Catalonia," Agusti Alcoberro, the vice president of grassroots group National Catalan Assembly, told the crowd in Barcelona, the region's capital.

Many of the protesters carried pro-independence "estelada" flags, with its white star and blue triangle superimposed over the traditional red-and-yellow Catalan colors.

"Look at all the people here," said 63-year-old Pep Morales, who was confident separatist parties would win in the 21 December election. "The independence movement is still going strong."

Many also held signs saying in Catalan "Freedom Political Prisoners" and wore yellow ribbons as a symbol of their demands.

Family members of the jailed separatists read messages from their loved ones to the crowd at the conclusion of the march.

While those separatist leaders now in jail obeyed a summons to appear in court in Madrid, deposed Catalan president Carles Puigdemont and four of his former ministers fled to Belgium, where they now await an extradition hearing to return them to Spain.

Addressing the rally in Barcelona via a video message shown on a large screen, Puigdemont said: "We need you all to be very active. We want to hear your voice, both those of us in Brussels and those in prison."


J S Bach peddling-fiction Sat, 11/11/2017 - 17:45 Permalink

How much plainer can the simple truth about Western "democracies" be?  If countries were truly "democratic", then they'd allow segments of their population to break off from the mother country as time and cultures evolved their separate ways.  But, the centralized mother country never lets the offspring leave her nest.  The same thing happened in America 156 years ago.  The Southern States exercised their Constitutional right to secede from the Union and they were forcibly denied.  750,000 of the best and bravest men perished as a result.  Let us pray that similar unnecessary losses are avoided at all costs with Catalonia's bid for independence.If anything, this will hopefully wake still more people up to what their system's of government are really all about - domination of a meek working-class sheeple by a parasitic, selfish and soulless moneyed elite.

In reply to by peddling-fiction

Overflow Future Jim Sat, 11/11/2017 - 18:28 Permalink

America was a colony overseas. Scotland and England treaty to form the UK in the XVIII century isn't a good expampe neither.  Two sovereign kingdoms united. But Catalonia is part of Spain since the very beginning of it.  Never has been a sovereign entity, just a region. The right comparison would be the Grand Manchester county, trying to secede from England.  You WON A WAR.  (With big and important help from Spain, actually) PS: And don't forget America did not  whine their "right to independence" to King George.  Y

In reply to by Future Jim

LightBulb18 Overflow Sat, 11/11/2017 - 18:56 Permalink

they have A separate language, and A population of 7.5 million people, and they used to be part of france, in the past it wasn't possible for A numerically small people to avoid being conquered by A bigger one, it won't be long before america, russia, and china take an interest in catalonia if peace and consent means nothing anymore. Their language, their territory and their population makes their claim as legit as other european nations. B"H

In reply to by Overflow

GreatUncle Overflow Sat, 11/11/2017 - 19:38 Permalink

Irrelevant!If those who govern you do not represent you even in your own mind you have a right to secede.Spain, UK, Calafornia ... don't care where you are from.Basically if those you feel are supposed to represent refuse to do so then secession is legal right ... it is called telling them to fuck off.Once you understand the concept of governments ceding sovereignty then any legal binding of a population to any government ends.If anything the new sovereign of Spain is actually the EU commission who Spain handed sovereignty too because Spain abides by the laws dictated too by the EU commission.

In reply to by Overflow

Curiously_Crazy Bopper09 Sat, 11/11/2017 - 18:13 Permalink

"If they all had guns......It would make absolutely no difference. At least the Catalins got off their arses and did something by A. bothering to put forward a motion to secede in the first place and B. Actually hitting the streets to protest in their hundreds of thousands.The US has one of the highest gun ownership rates in the world yet even with their tyrannical government the people are still complacently accepting being stomped on at every turn; there are states where a secession would probably actually pass the vote if it ever came up but all I hear are crickets. None of them are doing shit with their guns.

In reply to by Bopper09

Minack Masher1 Sat, 11/11/2017 - 18:24 Permalink

Real life isn't a Disney movie, cupcake. Madrid can call Barcelona's bluff every single time because Madrid has the ability to back up its demands while Catalonia does not. If you're not willing to kill and die for your independence then you do not deserve it and you will not have it. Thousands of years of recorded human history have proven that fact time and again. The EU isn't going to make Catalonia independent. NATO isn't going to make Catalonia independent. Uncle Sam isn't going to make Catalonia independent. Only that Catalans can.

In reply to by Masher1

BullionBlast Minack Sat, 11/11/2017 - 19:20 Permalink

In 1385 Spain decided to conquer the Kingdom of Portugal. Over 40,000 marched towards Portugal. The King of Spain even brought the Archbishop of Madrid to crown him king after Lisbon fell. A small army of 4000 men (including 100 hired archers from England...with longbows) stood in their way. The Spanish army thought they could flatten the Portuguese forced with a 10 minute battle. The Portuguese were led by Nuno Alverez. His little army was well entrenched on a hillside. The mighty Spanish army was fighting uphill and into the afternoon sun. The Spanish were badly beaten. Despite 10-1 odds the Portuguese won because they were not afraid. Protugal became a sovereign country on that day.If the Catalans want independence they better be prepared to fight for it and shed some blood.  Better to shed their own blood fighting for independence than to have their old grandmothers and pensioneers beat bloody by the Brownshirts sent by Rajoy.

In reply to by Minack

ebear Minack Sat, 11/11/2017 - 22:44 Permalink

"If you're not willing to kill and die for your independence then you do not deserve it and you will not have it. "There's more than a few nations that gained their independence without the use of force, Canada being one of them.  Australia and New Zealand as well, not to mention several former Carribean and African colonies.  Greenland's next up for independence from Denmark.  I doubt there'll be shots fired over that.  Some separations are amicable.  Did Czechs and Slovaks come to blows?

In reply to by Minack

chiswickcat Masher1 Sat, 11/11/2017 - 18:34 Permalink

Guns not the answer? Try telling that to the police, the army, the navy, the marines, all the security services inc body guards... prison guards... Ask them why they have guns. ‘Protection’ is probably going to be the answer. Don’t suppose you watched the independence vote in Catalonia did you? Innocent voters had no protection. Hence, got the shit kicked out of them.

In reply to by Masher1

Don Diego Maximeme Q Sun, 11/12/2017 - 07:07 Permalink

it is 10-12 blocks, in one of my posts here I have the same pic with better definition you can count the blocks (less than 100 meters per block). Of course it can be seen from space. I can see my home in google maps, even my car.Edit: in google maps I found the place, the street (Marina St.) is 40 m wide but the tarmac part where people is only half. However the length is longer than estimated: 1600 meters (from the intersection of Av. d'Icaria till till the bullring). So 1600 meters times 20 meters times 4 people per square meter: 130.000 people. Before arrowing down, take google maps and see it by yourselves.

In reply to by Maximeme Q

chiswickcat Overflow Sat, 11/11/2017 - 18:40 Permalink

Snowflakes do smell. They smell like clothes that have been left wet in the washer too long before being dried. That smell, that you know is clothes bacteria. Sometimes happens to me, but instead of wearing the clothes, I run the washer again. My record is four re-runs before I got around to putting them in the dryer.

In reply to by Overflow

debtor of last… Sat, 11/11/2017 - 18:06 Permalink

150.000 protesters for independance, 350.000 against, now 750.000 protestors for independance, a thousand here, a thousand there, and soon we'll be talking a quadrillion people.

Overflow Sat, 11/11/2017 - 18:18 Permalink

We don't have "political prisoners" in Spain.  We have some politics in Prison.  (Not enough) Theyre jailef for preved crimes, not for their "ideas". You can be secessionist in Spain.  Unlike France, Germany or most countries in the world, "fascist" Spain allows you to have a ppolitical party o movement openly working to break the nation. You just need to follow the rules and law in your pursuit of that objective. These clowns never talk about the dozens of imprisoned politics, members of the party in Government, PP.   Whe a court sends a PP to jail, they love spanish justice. When they send a secessionist to prison for malversation or  open rebellion against consttution, then they are "political prisoners"  LOL  

Don Diego Sat, 11/11/2017 - 18:49 Permalink

750,000? says the Catalan (pro-independentists) police, divide it by 8 at least. 900 buses brought people from other parts of Catalonia plus the Barcelona people, I would say 100-150K people if I average estimates from locals. 

Don Diego Neochrome Sat, 11/11/2017 - 19:07 Permalink

I did about 12 blocks, 1000 meters long by say 30 meters wide with a generous densitiy of 4 people per square meter.This picture is much more clear. If the 750.000 figure was true then the length would have been 6.000 meters and clearly it is not.https://imgur.com/svnZLhH The independentists acknowledge they hired only 900 buses, that is 45,000 people brought from outside the 2.5M people of the Barcelona metro area. Since Barcelona metro area is about a third of the 7.5M population, then say another 100,000 are locals (Barcelona is mostly pro-Spain).

In reply to by Neochrome