A protest march in support of former Catalan President Carles Puigdemont is set to take place in Barcelona on Sunday, April 15, beginning at 12:30 (local time). The march will begin at Plaça d'Espanya and will proceed to Avinguda del Paral·lel and terminate at Jardins de les Tres Xemeneies. An increased security presence is likely in the vicinity of the protest as well as associated transportation disruptions. Violent clashes between protesters and security personnel cannot be ruled out. Additional related demonstrations are likely in the coming days.
Puigdemont was detained in Germany in late March on charges of sedition and rebellion under a European arrest warrant and was later freed while awaiting a court decision. While the German court rejected extradition for charges of sedition, it has yet to rule on extradition for a lesser charge.
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.
Individuals in Barcelona and elsewhere in Catalonia are advised to monitor developments to the situation, avoid all protests and roadblocks as a precaution, and adhere to all instructions issued by the local authorities.