Pro-independence groups staged sit-ins outside Spanish government offices in a number of Catalan cities late Tuesday, with around 40,000 people taking part in Barcelona and 9,000 in the separatist stronghold of Girona, according to municipal and regional police.
The protests ended in clashes with police in many cities.
In Barcelona, police charged hundreds of masked demonstrators who threw projectiles at officers and set garbage containers and cardboard boxes on fire.
— Rebeca Carranco (@RebecaCarranco) October 15, 2019
When one man tried to put out the flames of a burning rubbish container with a fire extinguisher, masked protesters pushed him away, images broadcast on Spanish television showed.
“La Revolució dels Somriures” Cataluña, 2019. pic.twitter.com/zDYnQUroDu
— Daniel Elicegui ? (@DanielElicegui) October 15, 2019
National and regional police arrested 29 people in the province of Barcelona, 14 in Tarragona province and eight in Lleida, according to Spain's interior ministry.
The ministry said 72 police officers were injured in the clashes, including several who suffered broken bones.
A high-speed train between Barcelona and Figueres, a town not far from the French border, was blocked due to sabotage, the central government said in a statement.
Several streets in Barcelona, the Catalan capital, were cut off because crews were cleaning up debris from 157 fires set overnight, it added.
There were fires burning across Barcelona, as visible in this photo of the skyline:
— CDR Catalunya (@CDRCatOficial) October 15, 2019
Monday's ruling unleashed a wave of protests, with Catalan separatists enraged by the Supreme Court's decision to hand heavy prison sentences of between nine and 13 years to leaders convicted of sedition over the 2017 separatist push.
That culminated in a banned independence referendum and short-lived declaration of independence in October of the same year.
A video of a man knocked an elderly woman to the ground becuase she was taunting protestors with a Spanish flag was arrested on Tuesday. The video reveals the strength of feeling in a society increasingly divided.
Este video es precisamente a lo que nunca tendríamos que haber llegado.
Una sociedad fracturada. Dividida en 2.
Y episodios violentos que rompen el corazón de cualquier catalán que quiera reconstruir una sociedad entre todos. pic.twitter.com/yJfylSJqGE
— Javier de Erausquin (@JavierErausquin) October 14, 2019
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