More than 200,000 protesters march in Barcelona against the trial of 12 separatists

At least 200,000 people, according to the police, demonstrated on Saturday 16 February 2019 in Barcelona against the trial of independence leaders. – LLUIS GENE / AFP

Some 200,000 people, according to the police, demonstrated Saturday in Barcelona against the
trial of 12 independence leaders for the secession attempt of the
Catalonia in October 2017. One of the speakers in this rally, organized by parties and separatist associations, evaluated for its part 500,000 the number of participants, who marched behind a banner proclaiming "self-determination is not a crime ".

The protesters waved the Catalan separatist flag, blue, red and yellow, as well as placards: "Freedom for political prisoners". "All this is very sad. It is a political trial, made of manipulations to condemn them for something that is in no way a crime, "says Jesus Rodriguez, president of a group of" Castellers ". "What they want is to put them in prison, and as they know that voting is not a crime, they invent a violence that has not happened," the 48-year-old said.

The issue of violence is at the center of the trial

As a reminder, 12 independentist Catalan leaders have been tried since Tuesday in Madrid for the attempted secession of Catalonia in October 2017. They are accused in cases of "rebellion", "embezzlement" and "disobedience".

After organizing a referendum for self-determination banned by the justice system on 1 October 2017, the separatists proclaimed an independent Catalan republic a few weeks later, on 27 October, triggering the most serious political crisis that Spain has known since the end of the century. of Francoism. Was there then violence? The question is at the center of the trial, the disputed charge
of "rebellion" which implies a violent uprising. The prosecution supports him, but the separatists claim that the only violence was that of the police on the day of the referendum, whose images went around the world.

All Spain can follow live the proceedings broadcast on television

Thursday, under the auspices of the Supreme Court and the gaze of the seven judges sitting overhanging, former Catalan independence vice president Oriol Junqueras claimed last Thursday "with passion" his fight for the "Catalan Republic."

With him, 11 other former independence leaders appear in the majestic plenary meeting hall of the highest court in Spain. At the very place where the Spanish King Felipe VI ritually presides over the launching of the judicial year. All Spain can follow live the proceedings broadcast on television.