Since last week, Barcelona and areas around Spain’s Catalonia region, have been gripped by protests and violence. This after the Supreme Court handed 12 Catalan leaders prison sentences of up to 13 years for involvement with 2017’s independence referendum — A political action Spain’s central government declared unconstitutional and illegal.
Protests against the court’s actions have been wide ranging. A mostly peaceful march in Barcelona of over half a million Catalans last Friday, was immediately followed by vandalism and violent confrontations with the police.
To date, Barcelona officials say there’s been nearly 600 people injured – and at least $3 million in city damage from the unrest. Hotel reservations and flights to Barcelona have been cancelled – and one of the country’s biggest football games between Barcelona and Madrid – had to be rescheduled due to security concerns.
But what do these protesters want? Is this simply a reaction toharsh sentences handed to their leaders – or was that merely a spark reigniting the call for independence.
With us to discuss the Catalonia’s unrest is Pablo Pardo, a U.S correspondent with the Spanish newspaper El Mundo.