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TERRORISM

IN PICS: A look at tributes on Las Ramblas

Makeshift memorials have sprung up on Las Ramblas where a terrorist attack claimed the lives of 13 people and injured more than one hundred others.

IN PICS: A look at tributes on Las Ramblas
All photos: AFP

The broad avenue that was the site of such bloodshed on Thursday has now been transformed into a place of remembrance and defiance with a carpet of candles, messages and flowers.

 
While an official mass was given in the Sagrada Familia on Sunday attended by King Felipe VI, Queen Letizia, the Prime minister of Spain as well as regional and city politicians, on the streets people have chosen to show their grief in more spontaneous ways.
 
 
Candles, flowers and messages now fill the pavements where blood was spilled.
 
 
 
 
 
People are scribbling messages on trees.
 
And on post-it notes.
 
Aswell as on the pavement itself.
 
Once the sun goes down, vigils are held by candle light.
 
 
The phrase 'no tinc por' – Catalan for “I am not afraid” has become the rallying cry of resilience against terrorism.
 
 
Muslim groups gathered on the street to show that their wholehearted rejection of the terrorist act in the name of Islam.
 
A little boy holds up a flower and a sign that reads: “I'm Muslim. I am not a terrorist. #Peace #Love”.
 

ENVIRONMENT

Why has the expansion of Barcelona airport prompted mass protests?

Around 10,000 people demonstrated against the expansion of the El Prat airport in Barcelona on Sunday.

Why has the expansion of Barcelona airport prompted mass protests?
People march during a demonstration against the expansion of the Barcelona-El Prat airport. Photo: Pau BARRENA / AFP

Several ecological and agricultural organisations, have demanded that the expansion be stopped due to the fact nearby wetlands and farms would have to be destroyed.

The demonstration took place on Calle Tarragona in the Catalan capital between Plaça d’Espanya and Plaça dels Països Catalans.

The protests still took place, even though last week, Spain suspended the €1.7 billion airport expansion project, citing differences with the Catalan government, after president Pere Aragonès said he wanted to avoid destroying La Ricarda lagoon, a natural reserve next to the airport. 

Environmentalists decided not to call off the march, in case plans for the airport expansion still went ahead.

READ ALSO: Six things you need to know about Barcelona airport’s €1.7 billion planned expansion

Political representatives from ERC, En Comú Podem and the CUP also attended, as well as the leader of Más País, Íñigo Errejón; the Deputy Mayor for Ecology of the Barcelona City Council, Janet Sanz, and the Mayor of El Prat de Llobregat, Lluís Mijoler.

People from neighbourhoods across the city marched towards Calle Tarragona and could be seen holding placards that read Nature yes, airport no and shouting slogans such as “More courgettes and fewer planes” and “Fighting for the climate, health, and life”. 

One of the largest groups of people were those from El Prat de Llobregat, the municipality which is home to the airport, who were led by tractors. 

People march during a demonstration against the expansion of Barcelona-El Prat airport. Photo by Pau BARRENA / AFP

In addition to protesting against the expansion of the El Prat airport, people were also demonstrating against the Winter Olympic Games in the Pyrenees and extensions to airports in Mallorca and Madrid. 

A representative of Zeroport, Sara Mingorría said “We are here to defend not only La Ricarda, but the entire Delta”. 

The philosopher Marina Garcés also argued that the expansion of the airport would mean “more borders, more mass tourism, more control and more precarious jobs.” 

The leader of the commons in the Catalan parliament, Jéssica Albiach, who also attended the protest, asked the PSOE for “coherence”: “You cannot be passing a law against climate change and, at the same time, defend the interests of Aena [the airport operations company]”, she said. 

She also urged the leader of the Generalitat, Pere Aragonès, to “definitely say no. 

If the airport expansion in Barcelona goes ahead, environmentalists say that CO2 emissions would rise by a minimum of 33 percent. These levels would surpass the limits set by the Catalan government’s climate targets.

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