Protestors disrupt transport in Catalonia

©REUTERS/Ivan Alvarado
Last updated: November 8, 2017 at 15:56 pm

Pro-independence protesters blocked roads and stopped commuter trains in Spain’s northeastern region of Catalonia today.

The moves were part of a general strike to protest the jailing of ousted Catalan government officials and secessionist activists.

Many of the blockades were on roads leading to major Catalan cities, including the regional capital Barcelona, and major highways, the Catalan Transit Service said.

Disruptions affected more than 60 sections of road and highway throughout the morning, it added.

National railway operator Renfe said services were halted on dozens of local lines as protesters blocked railway lines.

Several national high-speed lines were also affected. In northern Girona, several protesters pushed past police controls to enter the city’s main railway station.

Intersindical CSC, a platform of pro-independence workers’ unions, had called the strike for labor issues.

But separatist parties and civil society groups asked workers to join the stoppage to protest the Spanish government’s moves against the Catalan bid for independence.

Agusti Alcoberro, the vice president of the grassroots Catalan National Assembly told the crowd the arrests were “an attack on democracy and a humiliation” of Catalan people.

Spanish authorities took the unprecedented step of seizing control of Catalonia, one of Spain’s 17 autonomous regions, after a majority of regional lawmakers there ignored Constitutional Court orders and passed an independence declaration on 27 October.

Spain removed the regional government, dissolved the parliament and called a new regional election for next month.

Prime Minister Mariano Rajoy said Wednesday the elections should open “a new political era” in the region with the return to normality and respect for Spain’s laws.

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