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2 October, 2018 00:00 00 AM / LAST MODIFIED: 1 October, 2018 09:05:24 PM
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Pro-independence protesters in Catalonia block roads, rly line

AFP
Pro-independence protesters in Catalonia block roads, rly line
A woman holds a Catalan pro-independence 'Estelada' flag during a demonstration in Girona yesterday to commemorate the anniversary of a banned referendum on secession that was marred by police violence. AFP photo

BARCELONA: Pro-independence protesters obstructed major roads and a high-speed railway line in Spain’s Catalonia region yesterday, one year after a banned referendum on secession marred by police violence, reports AFP.

“Everything began on October 1 and everything goes back to October 1,” the region’s separatist president Quim Torra said in a ceremony in Sant Julia de Ramis in northern Catalonia on a stage next to a large black and white banner that read “No forgetting, no forgiving.”

Some 10 kilometres (six miles) away in Girona, hundreds of activists, many covering their faces with scarves, occupied high-speed railway tracks for around three hours, blocking services linking Figueres, Girona and Barcelona, Spain’s state-owned rail operator Renfe said.

Central streets in Barcelona and Lleida were blocked, as was the AP-7 motorway, south of Barcelona, and A2 linking Barcelona to Madrid, images on Catalan TV showed.

Activists also got into Catalonia’s regional government building in Girona and took away the facade’s Spanish flag, replacing it with a red, yellow and blue separatist flag.

In his speech, Torra praised their actions, saying they were “doing well in putting on the pressure.”

‘Damaged Spain’s reputation’ -

A year after the contested October 1, 2017 referendum, disagreements over separatism have nevertheless deepened in the wealthy northeastern region of Spain, which is home to some 7.5 million people and has its own distinct language.

Far from uniting the community, it has polarised opinion, leaving deep divisions over the region’s fate.

The independence movement itself is divided and rudderless, with the separatist parties that have an absolute majority in the regional parliament split on what strategy to pursue to break from Spain—direct confrontation or moderation.

The protests were called online by a grassroots group calling itself the Committees for the Defence of the Republic (CDRs), founded to help stage last year’s banned referendum and now demanding a clean break with the Spanish state.

 

 

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Editor : M. Shamsur Rahman

Published by the Editor on behalf of Independent Publications Limited at Media Printers, 446/H, Tejgaon I/A, Dhaka-1215.
Editorial, News & Commercial Offices : Beximco Media Complex, 149-150 Tejgaon I/A, Dhaka-1208, Bangladesh. GPO Box No. 934, Dhaka-1000.

Editor : M. Shamsur Rahman
Published by the Editor on behalf of Independent Publications Limited at Media Printers, 446/H, Tejgaon I/A, Dhaka-1215.
Editorial, News & Commercial Offices : Beximco Media Complex, 149-150 Tejgaon I/A, Dhaka-1208, Bangladesh. GPO Box No. 934, Dhaka-1000.

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