The Intersindical-CSC labor union and affiliated groups have called for a general strike in Catalonia region on Thursday, February 21. Union representatives had postponed an earlier planned strike from February 5-7 but delayed it to ensure greater participation. Labor unions have also called for protests beginning on Tuesday, February 12, to coincide with the start of the trial of jailed Catalan leaders. A heightened security presence, as well as transportation and business disruptions, are possible from February 12, and notably on February 21, in the event of mass demonstrations or strikes.
Several pro-Catalan independence leaders are set to stand trial on charges of treason, sedition, and misuse of public funds for their involvement in the unsanctioned 2017 independence referendum.
Tensions in Catalonia have been high since a controversial and unsanctioned independence referendum held on October 1, 2017, in which 90 percent of votes cast were in support of independence. Polling was interrupted by the National Police, who reportedly raided several polling stations. Violent clashes between pro-secessionist protesters and national police resulted in 893 civilians and 431 security personnel being injured. The results were ruled unconstitutional and annulled by the central government in Madrid.
Individuals in Catalonia are advised to monitor developments to the situation, anticipate localized disruptions and a heightened security presence, avoid all political demonstrations as a precaution, and avoid discussing political subjects in public or on social media.
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