The Intersindical-CSC labor union and affiliated groups have called for a general strike in Catalonia region on Thursday, February 21. Significant transportation disruptions are expected across the region throughout the day. Demonstrations will also take place in several urban centers. Public transport services will provide a minimum service, with 50 percent of metros and buses expected to run during peak hours (06:30 to 09:30 and 17:00 to 20:00 - all local time) and 25 percent of services expected for the rest of the day. Furthermore, 50 percent of the shuttle bus service, wich connects Barcelona's city center to El-Prat interncational airport (BCN), will be provided. "Go slow" operations are also planned on different roads across Catalonia.
On a related note, several demonstrations will take place. In Barcelona, a demonstration is scheduled to take place at 12:00 at Plaça Universitat and another at 18:00 at Jardin de Salvador Espriu. Other demonstrations will be held in the early evening in Girona, Lleida, and Tarragona.
A heightened security presence, as well as business disruptions, are expected on February 21. Clashes between protesters and security forces cannot be ruled out.
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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