Individuals supporting former Catalan President Carlos Puigdemont are slated to gather at the European Parliament in Strasbourg on Tuesday, July 2, to support Puigdemont on the first day of the new parliamentary session. Puigdemont has faced a series of legal obstacles during his bid for a seat as Member of the European Parliament. The protests also seek to call attention to the right of self-determination and demand the release of pro-independence prisoners.
Associated transportation disruptions and a heightened security presence are expected in the vicinity of the strike. Clashes between protestors and security forces cannot be ruled out.
Spain was thrown into a constitutional and political crisis after Catalonia held an independence referendum, deemed illegal by the Spanish government and marred with violence, on October 1, 2017. Despite a series of logistical and judicial obstacles enacted by the central government to prevent the vote, 42 percent of the Catalan population participated in the referendum, 90 percent of whom voted in favor of independence. Madrid officially suspended the region's autonomy on October 27 - just moments after the Catalan Parliament unilaterally declared independence - and implemented direct central rule. The central government also fired the Catalan government and dissolved the parliament. Since, Carlos Puigdemont was elected to the European Parliament while facing trial for organizing the independence referendum.
Individuals in Strasbourg are advised to monitor the situation, avoid all public demonstrations as a precaution, anticipate localized disruption and a heightened security presence near demonstrations, and adhere to instructions issued by local authorities.
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