Three arrested, 44 injured as separatists, police clash in Barcelona
At least three people were arrested and 44 injured after violence returned to the streets of Barcelona on Saturday night with clashes between police and Catalan separatist demonstrators, according to local media reports and regional health authorities.
Police clashes with protesters during a demonstration called by the local Republic Defence Committees (CDR), outside the Spanish police headquarters in Barcelona, on October 26, 2019. [Photo: AFP]
Violent demonstrations broke out following a peaceful march organized by a range of pro-independence groups against the prison sentences of between nine and 13 years given to Catalan separatist leaders on Oct. 14 by the Spanish Supreme Court.
Via Laietana, a major thoroughfare in Barcelona, Catalonia, again saw violent disturbances Saturday night as protestors threw eggs, bottles, cans and paint at police, who responded with baton charges and fired some rubber bullets along the street.
According to local authorities, four of the 44 injured were police, with one officer reportedly breaking his knee after falling from a police van which was chasing protestors.
Tensions are expected to remain high in Barcelona on Sunday when a march organized by the pro-Constitution organization Catalan Civil Society is scheduled to take place.
Catalonia is an autonomous region in the northeastern corner of Spain. It held an independence referendum on Oct. 1, 2017 and unilaterally declared "independence" on Oct. 27. The Spanish Constitutional Court has declared the referendum illegal.