Unionists responded to the recent Catalan pro-independence protests following the sentencing of Catalan leaders with a rally in the centre of Barcelona on Sunday.
According to the local police, 80,000 people attended the rally.
ALSO READ: Catalan Trial verdict and sentences – up to 13 years
The demonstration was called by anti-independence grassroots group Societat Civil Catalana (SCC), under the slogan ‘For concord, for Catalonia, enough’.
Thousands of Catalans, as well as people coming from Madrid and Valencia, flooded one of Barcelona’s most iconic avenues: the Passeig de Gràcia.
ALSO READ: Nine days of protests in Catalonia, and on-going …
The day after the pro-independence rally
The rally came a day after another pro-independence protest against the sentencing of politicians and activists involved in the 2017 referendum push, which gathered 350,000 supporters in Barcelona’s Marina street on Saturday, according to the local police.
With prison sentences of up to 13 years, the verdict immediately sparked widespread protests in Catalonia when it was announced on the 14 October, with thousands of protesters occupying the Barcelona airport.
ALSO READ: Protestors ask Spain to ‘sit and talk’ with Catalonia
This week saw tensions cool down after Barcelona and other Catalan towns descended into unrest for 5 days straight after the Supreme Court ruling came out.
Òmnium Cultural and the Catalan National Assembly (ANC), the largest pro-independence civil society organisations in Catalonia, stressed that ‘protests won’t stop until [Spain] respects Catalonia’s self-determination and continues to have political prisoners’.
ALSO READ: ‘Without journalism, there is no democracy’ protest in Barcelona
Via Laietana protest
When the Saturday rally came to an end later in the afternoon, many demonstrators moved to Via Laietana, where the Committees in Defence of the Republic (CDRs) had called a protest in front of the Spanish National Police headquarters.
ALSO READ: Human Rights Commissioner at CoE condemns ‘disproportionate use of force’
Protestors again clashed with officers guarding the building. Police charged protestors, shot foam bullets, and reportedly injured journalists. Barricades were set on fire and at least three people were arrested.
Click here for all articles and update the Catalan Trial, verdicts and sentencing