Catalan pro-independence parties have called for protests to take place during the trial of pro-independence leaders. As such, protests are scheduled to take place on Tuesday, February 12, in front of the Supreme Court building in Madrid, but also at Plaza Catalunya in Barcelona (Catalonia region) and in other Catalan cities.
Another related protest is scheduled to take place in Barcelona on the Gran Via avenue on Saturday, February 16, starting at 17:00 (local time).
Anti-independence groups are also planning to stage a protest in Barcelona on Sunday, February 17. Protesters are expected to gather at 11:30 at Plaza Urquinanona.
Furthermore, the Intersindical-CSC labor union and affiliated groups have called for a general strike in Catalonia region on Thursday, February 21. Protests are scheduled to take place in Barcelona, Girona, Lleida, and Tarragona. Public transportation services are likely to be disrupted.
Localized disruptions and a heightened security presence are likely around any demonstration sites.
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 Madrid, as well as in Barcelona, and Catalonia more generally, 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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