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Spain: 'A fascist country' - Thousands of Catalans march in Barcelona on anniversary of independence referendum03:27

Spain: 'A fascist country' - Thousands of Catalans march in Barcelona on anniversary of independence referendum

Spain, Barcelona
October 2, 2022 at 16:33 GMT +00:00 · Published

Thousands of Catalans took to the streets of Barcelona on Saturday in a rally to mark the fifth anniversary of the Catalan independence referendum.

Protesters were seen waving Catalan flags, holding independence banners and lighting up flares and torches.

One group set fire to chairs with the logos of Catalan political parties attached to them. The act was a demonstration of Catalan anger over what they see as inaction in the pursuit of independence.

"There is a division between pro-independence parties and it isn't clear who really wants it (the independence) and who is surrendering it," said one pro-independence protester.

“I feel that we have lost five years. We had made serious advances five years ago, and now things seem quite static. But we will rise again and move on,” added a second activist.

The 2017 Catalan independence referendum was banned by Spanish courts but went ahead anyway. The event descended into chaos as police moved in to shut it down. President of the Republican Left of Catalonia Oriol Junqueras was imprisoned shortly after.

For many at the protest, that fateful day remains firmly in their memory.

"It's still intact in the memory because what happened was so hard, that it remains in the memory. That, in the 21st century, a country that calls itself democratic, acts like a fascist country. This needs to be fixed," said a protester by the name of Lluis.

Spain: 'A fascist country' - Thousands of Catalans march in Barcelona on anniversary of independence referendum03:27
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Thousands of Catalans took to the streets of Barcelona on Saturday in a rally to mark the fifth anniversary of the Catalan independence referendum.

Protesters were seen waving Catalan flags, holding independence banners and lighting up flares and torches.

One group set fire to chairs with the logos of Catalan political parties attached to them. The act was a demonstration of Catalan anger over what they see as inaction in the pursuit of independence.

"There is a division between pro-independence parties and it isn't clear who really wants it (the independence) and who is surrendering it," said one pro-independence protester.

“I feel that we have lost five years. We had made serious advances five years ago, and now things seem quite static. But we will rise again and move on,” added a second activist.

The 2017 Catalan independence referendum was banned by Spanish courts but went ahead anyway. The event descended into chaos as police moved in to shut it down. President of the Republican Left of Catalonia Oriol Junqueras was imprisoned shortly after.

For many at the protest, that fateful day remains firmly in their memory.

"It's still intact in the memory because what happened was so hard, that it remains in the memory. That, in the 21st century, a country that calls itself democratic, acts like a fascist country. This needs to be fixed," said a protester by the name of Lluis.