Pro-independence and secessionist groups are planning to hold protests in Barcelona (Catalonia) on either Wednesday, June 12, or Thursday, June 13. The demonstrations are scheduled for 20:00 (local time) at Plaça de Catalunya and are being held to call for Catalan self-determination and the release of pro-independence leaders on trial; the protest will be held on the day the trial ends. Localized disruptions are likely along with a heightened security presence. Associated demonstrations are possible at other locations in Barcelona and across Catalonia.
Several pro-Catalan independence leaders are standing trial on charges of treason, sedition, and misuse of public funds for their involvement in the unsanctioned 2017 independence referendum.
A controversial and unsanctioned independence referendum was 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 Barcelona, and Catalonia more generally, are advised to monitor developments to the separatist leader trial, anticipate localized disruptions and a heightened security presence near protest sites, and avoid all demonstrations as a precaution.
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