One year after the independence referendum in catalonia, demonstrators have commemorated the controversial vote with blockades and other actions. They also called again for the secession of the region from spain.
Activists blocked tracks in girona used by the high-speed AVE train for several hours, according to the railroad company renfe. Other supporters of independence temporarily blocked several main traffic arteries in barcelona and two highways – among other things with towered tires.
A group of radical separatists also invaded the seat of the regional government in girona this morning. Activists took down the spanish national flag and raised the "estelada," the flag of the catalan independence movement, instead.
In the evening, thousands of people took part in a demonstration in barcelona called by various organizations. At the placa de catalunya in the heart of the metropolis, a huge transparent sign read: "self-determination is a human right".
During the unconstitutional referendum on 1. October 2017 there were also scenes of violence when police tried to keep burgers away from the polling stations. The spokeswoman of the new spanish socialist government of pedro sanchez called the police operation ordered by the conservative predecessor government and the "painful images" of that day on monday a "mistake". The 1. October is a sad day, "there is nothing to celebrate," said isabel celaa in madrid. At the same time, she called on the catalan government to stop its "confrontational rhetoric".
Regional leader quim torra nevertheless stressed that his government continues to pursue the "democratic mandate" of the vote and supports all those who suffered repression as a result of the referendum. After the vote and a subsequent decision to secede the prosperous region from spain, the madrid central government placed the region under forced administration in the fall of 2017.
The then regional president carles puigdemont was deposed and fled into exile to brussel. Other politicians also left the country. Several regional ministers and other activists of the separatist movement, on the other hand, remain in custody until today. Among other things, they are accused of rebellion. With demonstrations and protests separatists have repeatedly demanded the release of the politicians. At the rally on monday evening, too, participants repeatedly called for "freedom for the political prisoners!" And held photos of the detainees in their hands.
In december 2017, new elections were held in catalonia on the orders of madrid. After the new regional government under quim torra was sworn in in may, the forced administration ended. But torra also insists on the "right to self-determination" of the catalans. Nevertheless, the situation has eased slightly under the sanchez government, which has been in office since june and has since been trying to promote dialogue.