Protests on vote an­niver­sary

The Guardian Weekly - - International News -

Groups of pro-in­de­pen­dence Cata­lans blocked roads, mo­tor­ways and a high­speed rail line in the re­gion to mark the first an­niver­sary of its uni­lat­eral and il­le­gal in­de­pen­dence ref­er­en­dum on 1 Oc­to­ber. The ac­tivists, mem­bers of the grass­roots, di­rect-ac­tion Com­mit­tees for the De­fence of the Repub­lic, oc­cu­pied streets in Barcelona and Lleida as well as the mo­tor­ways to Madrid and France. They also tem­poarar­ily ob­structed a train line.

Cat­alo­nia’s na­tion­al­ist pres­i­dent, Quim Torra, made a sym­bolic visit to a polling sta­tion in the small town of Sant Julià de Ramis, where po­lice pre­vented his pre­de­ces­sor Car­les Puigde­mont from vot­ing last Oc­to­ber.

In a video mes­sage re­leased on Mon­day, Puigde­mont said: “Let us not stray from the only pos­si­ble way to live in a full democ­racy: the [Cata­lan] repub­lic and its in­ter­na­tional recog­ni­tion.”

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