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Catalunya shutdown: General strike and mass protests
PROTESTS in Catalunya today (Thursday) have led to major roads and city-centre routes being blocked, 37 people injured including 12 police officers, and three arrested.
Pro-secession group CDR barricaded roads, and several cars were damaged after colliding with burning tyres rolled down the streets.
Hundreds of students spread out across the railway lines at the Plaza de Catalunya metro station in Barcelona, whilst the transport system itself is on strike for the third day running with only a third of trains and half of all buses and metro links running.
The entire region was called to a general strike today in protest over the independence movement’s being criminalised and a legal referendum banned as 12 politicians who organised the disputed vote on October 1, 2017 are currently facing trial following 16 months in jail.
One man was arrested for punching a Mossos d’Esquadra officer – Catalunya’s answer to the Guardia Civil – in Barcelona, another for throwing objects at the Mossos in Gurb, Barcelona province, and a woman has been detained in the province of Tarragona for attempting to block off the AP-7 motorway.
About seven Mossos had to be taken to hospitals and health centres for treatment, but all bar one female officer, who has been admitted with ‘non-life-threatening’ injuries, have been discharged.
A total of 37 people, including police officers, suffered minor injuries in all four provinces of Catalunya, mostly in their capital cities – Lleida, Barcelona, Tarragona and Girona – although the majority of the demonstrations and riot police actions were Barcelona city itself.
One demonstration alone in Barcelona was attended by over 13,000 marchers.
The trial of the ‘Catalunya 12’ has already been ongoing for 10 days and is likely to be long and drawn-out.
Those testifying insist no public funds were employed to finance the banned referendum in October 2017 and that they are not guilty of misuse of taxpayers’ cash.
It is said to be the biggest political trial in the history of democratic Spain.
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