Metro and train solutions at Barcelona’s El Prat airport have been briefly suspended today over separatist protests immediately after Spain’s Supreme Court sentenced nine independence leaders to years in jail. Both the metro and train have now resumed, the train operator and neighborhood police stated. Footage showed police in complete riot gear cordoning off dozens of protesters, with some wearing hoods and masks. Airport operator AENA stated the airport was now operating usually.
Protests broke out at Barcelona airport right now
Protesters block access from metro gateway to the airport
The Foreign Workplace has warned people today travelling to Barcelona: “There have been big gatherings of people today in Barcelona and other places of the Catalonia area in relation to the political developments there.
“Additional gatherings and demonstrations are probably to take spot. They may well take place with small or no warning and even demonstrations intended to be peaceful can escalate and turn confrontational.
“You should really exercising caution if you are in the vicinity. Demonstrations may well also bring about some disruption and delays to transport solutions.”
Men and women are advised to verify their airline’s web page for any delays or updates if they are organizing to fly to and from Barcelona right now.
Easyjet tweeted: “We’re nevertheless operating our flights to and from Barcelona as close to schedule as feasible.”
Protesters use trolleys to block escalators at El Prat airport
Spain’s Supreme Court sentenced nine Catalan separatist leaders to between nine and 13 years in prison for sedition more than their function in a failed independence bid, which triggered protests across the area.
Meanwhile, 3 other defendants have been also on trial for their involvement in the October 2017 referendum held in spite of a ban and a quick-lived independence declaration.
They have been found guilty only of disobedience and not sentenced to prison.
All defendants have been acquitted of the gravest charge, rebellion, but major separatists have been swift to condemn the court’s selection and the jailed males sent out messages of defiance, urging people today to take to the streets.
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Protesters clash with Spanish policemen outdoors El Prat airport
Thousands of angry protesters took to the streets in Barcelona
The head of the regional parliament Roger Torrent said: “This sentence is an attack on democracy and the rights of all citizens.
“Currently we are all convicted, not just 12 people today.”
Former head of Catalonia’s regional government, Carles Puigdemont, stated the prison sentences have been an “atrocity.”
In Barcelona, 3 primary streets have been blocked by protesters holding indicators calling for “Freedom for political prisoners” and a crowd chanted “We’ll do it once more”.
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Catalan regional police ‘Mossos D’Esquadra’ officers grab a protester at El Prat airport
Protesters blocked train and metro access to Barcelona airport
This was a slogan applied by separatist supporters who want to hold a different referendum.
Protesters blocked train and metro access to the Barcelona airport and other people temporarily blocked visitors on the A2 highway.
Many regional roads across Catalonia have been also impacted, officials at the road visitors agency stated.
The regional train network was interrupted in the separatist stronghold of Girona by people today standing on the tracks, wrapped in pro-independence flags.
A passenger appears scared as protesters demonstrate at the airport
A protester holds a Catalan pro-independence “Estelada” flag surrounded by other protesters
The separatists who have been jailed stated on social media that they would carry on their fight.
Jordi Sanchez, who was sentenced to nine years in jail, stated: “Nine years in prison will not finish my optimism.
“Catalonia will be independent if we persist. Let us demonstrate devoid of worry, let us move forward determinedly from non-violence to freedom.”
Mr Sanchez was the leader of the Catalan National Assembly (ANC) grassroots movement.
Passengers have been left stranded as the protests blocked train and metro solutions to the airport
Passengers stroll on the highway towards El Prat airport
Protests for Catalonia’s independence have been largely peaceful more than the previous years but police sources have said authorities are ready for any violence.
The regional head of Catalonia, separatist Quim Torra, called for an amnesty for all 12 leaders.
He added he would seek an urgent meeting with Spain’s King Felipe VI and acting Prime Minister Pedro Sanchez.
But Mr Torradid not repeat past weeks’ calls for civil disobedience.
Protesters shout in front of Catalan regional police ‘Mossos D’Esquadra’ vans
Mr Sanchez was swift to rebuff the demand for an amnesty.
He stated the sentences should be carried out.
Mr Sanchez stated in a televised address to the nation: “Today’s selection confirms the defeat of a movement that failed to get internal help and international recognition,”
He also stated now was time for a new chapter more than the Catalan situation.