More than a half-million people overflowed the streets of Barcelona today, as five columns of marchers who had left from different points inside the Catalonian region [in eastern Spain] two days ago converged on the city. The marchers demanded the release of nine regional political leaders, who were found guilty of sedition and sentenced this week to between 9 and 13 years in prison for having organized an independence referendum two years ago. (tinyurl.com/yyrqs6fu)
An enormous number of picketers on roads, highways, avenues, trains and subways accompanied today’s mobilization, which also demanded Catalonia’s independence from Spain. These picketers aimed to ensure compliance with a strike, which two smaller pro-independence trade unions (Intersindical-CSC and IAC-CATAC) called, attracting significant sectors of workers.
This widespread network of picket lines was coordinated by the Committees for the Defense of the Republic (CDR), an organization that operates through assemblies in different neighborhoods. The left-wing political tendency Popular Unity Candidacy (CUP) has a major political influence in the CDR. Today the press reports that the CDR organized its own column that brought more than 10,000 people to Barcelona.