Violent clashes erupted between Spanish police and Catalan separatist supporters have erupted for a second consecutive day in response to the jailing of nine pro-independence leaders.
Thousands of people took part in the protests across Barcelona on Tuesday evening in a show of the movement’s strength after the Supreme Court sentencing a day earlier.
Pro-independence leaders have vowed to keep pushing for a new referendum on secession, saying Monday’s prison sentences strengthened the movement.
Some Barcelona protesters threw cans and flares at riot police, setting fire to cardboard and other trash in some places. They also tried to kick down security barriers set up around the Spanish government headquarters in the city centre.
Police charged the demonstrators with batons, after removing protesters blocking motorways and a train station in the region.
The leader of Spain’s centre-right People’s Party (PP), Pablo Casado called on acting prime minister Pedro Sanchez to activate a national security law and take control of Catalonia’s security forces to “guarantee security and public order.”
Elsewhere, protesters lit candles and chanted “Freedom for political prisoners” in a rally organised by Omnium Cultural organisation, whose chairman Jordi Cuixart was convicted on Monday.
Further unrest is to be expected on the weekend and protesters plan to continue the push for independence.
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