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Catalan activists protest outside Spanish National Police headquarters in Barcelona, Catalonia, 26 October 2019

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EPA

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Young activists protested outdoors police HQ in Barcelona on Saturday

Separatists in Catalonia, north-eastern Spain, are gathering for a march in Barcelona in protest at the jailing of their leaders almost two weeks ago.

Preceding protests in the regional capital drew hundreds of thousands of supporters, but have been marred by rioting which saw additional than 600 individuals injured.

Organisers are calling for a peaceful march which will also underline assistance for self-determination.

Spanish unionists program to hold their personal mass rally in the city on Sunday.

  • Catalan crisis in 300 words

Nine separatist leaders have been jailed on 14 October by Spain’s Supreme Court for involving nine and 13 years soon after getting convicted of sedition.

The days that followed saw some of the worst violence in the history of the contemporary independence movement, which prides itself on its peaceful techniques.

What is taking place on Saturday?

A day of protest in Barcelona started with a gathering of mayors from across Catalonia to endorse the campaign for self-determination.

Mayors of 814 out of the region’s 947 regional authorities gathered at the regional government’s headquarters to meet Catalan President Quim Torra.

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Media captionCatalonia independence protesters: “We really feel like we are all getting attempted”

As the mayors chanted “independence”, Mr Torra stated Catalans will have to unite to oppose “repression” and “force the Spanish state to speak”.

Grassroots independence groups are urging independence supporters to fill the streets but say they are committed to peaceful protests, Reuters news agency reports.

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Reuters

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Demonstrators marched close to Barcelona’s Sagrada Familia church on Saturday

On Sunday, politicians from Spain’s two most important centre-proper parties, the Well known Celebration and Ciudadanos, are anticipated to attend the unionist rally, which comes two weeks ahead of the Spanish common election.

Meanwhile, supporters of the far-proper Vox celebration rallied in the Spanish capital Madrid on Saturday to hear calls for a tougher line on the separatists.

Celebration leader Santiago Abascal attacked Spain’s mainstream parties, like the ruling Socialists, telling the crowd: “Faced with criminal separatism, there is only Vox!”

How poor have been the clashes earlier this month?

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Media captionBel, student, 20: “We are living demonstrations”

Rioters threw paving stones and petrol bombs when police fired baton rounds and made use of truncheons.

Vehicles and other home have been broken as fires have been lit in the streets of Barcelona and other towns.

Among 14 and 20 October, 593 individuals, like 226 police officers, received remedy for injuries as a outcome of the protests, according to regional emergency solutions.

The Spanish authorities later updated the quantity of officers injured to 289.

Why is there a crisis in Catalonia?

Successive Spanish governments have refused to grant separatists in Catalonia a referendum on independence, which became a reside situation once again soon after the worldwide monetary crisis of 2008.

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Media captionCatalan Minister Alfred Bosch: “We’re not haters”

Spurred on by the outcomes of an unrecognised plebiscite in November 2014, separatists held an illegal referendum in October 2017, which Spain attempted to stop by force, at some point jailing the separatist leaders.

  • Catalonia’s quarrel with Spain explained

When the separatists routinely attract huge shows of public assistance, they have only a slim majority in the regional parliament and a current survey suggests Catalonia’s residents oppose independence by about 48% to 44%.

Catalonia has its personal language and distinctive traditions, and a population almost as large as Switzerland’s (7.five million). It is one particular of Spain’s wealthiest regions, creating up 16% of the national population and accounting for practically 19% of Spanish GDP.

The EU has treated the crisis as an internal matter for Spain, deaf to the separatists’ pleas for assistance, but there have been warnings that the situation is damaging Spain’s democratic credentials.

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