Pro-Spain demonstrations held in Barcelona and Brussels
The streets of the Catalan capital were filled with chants of “jail Puigdemont” and “Catalonia is Spain”
Around 12,000 people filled central Barcelona today, according to figures released by local police, in order to celebrate Spain’s Constitution Day on its 39th anniversary, but also to protest against the Catalan independence process, under the motto 'Come Together! Respect and coexistence’. The demonstration coincided with another pro-Spain rally held in Brussels attended by 250 people.
As the march continued down Via Laietana, one of the main roads in the centre of the city, chants of “jail Puigdemont” and “Catalonia is Spain” could be heard, as crowds waved Spanish and Catalan flags, and carried banners condemning the actions of Catalan politicians related to the independence movement.
The demonstration, called by the pro-unionist organization Movement for Spain and Catalans, was attended by the likes of Xavier García Albiol, leader of the Catalan People’s Party (PP), and Andrea Levy, also a PP member, as well as members of Ciutadans. Both parties have been outspoken in their criticisms of the independence movement, with Albiol even saying he would extend the application of Article 155 in the country for up to 1.5 years.
Eventually much of the multitude congregated in front of Spain’s National Police headquarters in the Catalan capital, shouting “these are our police,” as some demonstrators blew them kisses.
"Today we are celebrating our anniversary and a city as Spanish as Barcelona has to honor its legal framework, its Magna Carta, and here we are the citizens of Catalonia celebrating," said Javier Megino, spokesman of the Civic Movement for Spain and Catalans, a pro-Spain organization behind many of the recent unionist protests in the city.
Megino also expressed his hope that the December 21 election would “give a definitive blow to the (independence) process.”
The vice president of the Civic Movement of Spain and Catalans, Ángel Hernández, called for the Constitution to be defended after the elections in Catalonia "to prevent the separatist parties from breaking it again." 'We are not fascists, we are Spanish,” she went on to say.
Meanwhile, in Brussels, just a day before a massive demonstration is expected calling for freedom for the remaining jailed pro-independence leaders as well as a free Catalan republic, 250 pro-Spain and anti-independence demonstrators gathered outside the European Parliament.
MEP representatives of Spain’s ruling People’s Party were present, as Spanish and Catalan flags were waved and people chanted things such as “there is no place in Europe for nationalism.”