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Clashes in Barcelona after latest huge march

2019-10-27 HKT 09:40
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  • Clashes in Barcelona after latest huge march
Thousands of separatists clashed with police in central Barcelona on Saturday just hours after some 350,000 demonstrators held a peaceful march in the latest mass protest over the jailing of nine separatist leaders.

The day had started peacefully, with the city's streets turned into a sea of flags as a tide of humanity flowed down the wide avenue running from the waterfront to the city's towering Sagrada Familia basilica.

On an unseasonably warm October afternoon, the masses waved flags, sang songs and chanted slogans, among them many youngsters, elderly people and families with children.

But as night fell, thousands joined a separate demonstration by the radical CDR, massing outside police headquarters on Via Laeitana shouting "Occupation forces, out!" and hurling coloured plastic balls and marbles at the riot police guarding the building.

Although police initially refused to engage, they eventually charged, using batons and foam rounds to try and break up the crowds who pelted them with bottles, rocks and fireworks.

Police said around 10,000 demonstrators had massed in the street, which was eventually cleared by about 11pm.

Catalonia has been gripped by unrest since the October 14 Supreme Court verdict which unleashed a wave of protest that quickly turned violent, with masked demonstrators clashing nightly with riot police.

More than 600 people have been injured in the protests, 367 of them civilians and 289 police, official figures show. (AFP)