700,000 protest Spanish crackdown in Catalonia
Nearly 700,000 people in Catalonia have marched through the streets of Barcelona to protest police brutality during a banned independence referendum and Madrid’s policies toward the already-autonomous Spanish region.
People on Tuesday blocked major streets and traffic throughout the city as participants carried signs and chanted “Independence!” and “The streets will always remain ours,” as some people also raised their hands and waved the Estelada, the Catalan independence flag.
A protest strike was also called by the region’s major trade unions as government workers walked out and businesses and colleges also closed for the day to protest the central government’s crackdown on voters in the Sunday referendum.
Metro stations across Barcelona appeared empty as services were extensively reduced while the usually bustling Boqueria market was deserted. Famous tourist attractions such as the Sagrada Familia Church also shut down for the day.