Calls for Unity and Prison on Spanish National Day

Oct. 12th, 2017

  Protesters in the city's Plaça de Catalunya. Photocredit: Albert Han

Protesters in the city's Plaça de Catalunya. Photocredit: Albert Han

[Originally published in Barcelona Metropolitan on Oct. 12th, 2017]

Tens of thousands gathered today in the city centre to support the country’s unity on the National Day of Spain. An estimated 65,000 people, according to the City Hall of Barcelona, marched under the slogan “Catalonia yes, Spain too”. Chants of “Long Live Spain, Long Live Catalonia!” sounded throughout the rally, accompanied by “Puigdemont, go to prison!”, among other cries for unity.

Various groups organised the demonstration, including the Catalan Civil Society, which had arranged the previous demonstration last Sunday. In a statement before the Spanish parliament yesterday, prime minister Mariano Rajoy asked Puigdemont to clarify by next Monday “whether independence was declared or not” in the regional president’s speech before the Catalan Parliament on Tuesday.

In Madrid, King Felipe VI presided over the annual military parade, while members of the Spanish government and the presidents of autonomous communities also participated in the events. Puigdemont was absent, along with his counterparts from the Basque Country and Navarre.