Catalan ribbon row escalates
Fears of an escalation in Catalonia’s “yellow ribbon war” are growing after a group of about 80 masked vigilantes removed hundreds of the proindependence symbols from a small town in the north of the region.
A woman had her nose broken in Barcelona in July after a man punched her in the face because her children were removing ribbons from park railings. He then shouted at the woman, a Russian resident, to “go back where you came from”. Police arrested her aggressor on charges of committing a hate crime.
Independence sympathisers started wearing yellow ribbons after Spain jailed a number of Catalan political leaders for their role in last October’s illegal declaration of independence. The proliferation of yellow ribbons is seen by many as the colonisation by a political faction of what they believe should be neutral public space.