Independence activists reportedly held a sit-in at the Sants railway station in Barcelona on Saturday, November 16. The protest was organized by Comitès de Defensa de la República (CDR), which urged protesters to disrupt services at nine stations across the city. Police said the protest was limited to one station and demonstrators were dispersed after about one hour. According to authorities, no arrests were made and transit services were not interrupted.
A heightened security presence and lingering transportation disruptions are to be expected over the coming hours in Barcelona and other affected areas; associated demonstrations throughout the region may result in disruptions to transportation and business over the coming days. Counter-protests are possible. Clashes between protesters and security forces cannot be ruled out.
Protests have been ongoing since October 1, which marked the two-year anniversary of a failed independence referendum that took place in Catalonia in 2017. Several Catalan activists were consequently on trial for their involvement in the referendum, which Madrid deemed illegal. On October 14, the Supreme Court sentenced nine of them to between nine and 13 years in prison, prompting mass protests in Barcelona and other cities across Catalonia.
Individuals in Catalonia, notably in Barcelona, are advised to monitor developments, avoid all protests as a precaution, confirm their flight reservations, anticipate delays and cancelations, plan additional travel time, and adhere to all instructions issued by local authorities.
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