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  • Police officer keeps hitting a young man who fell to the floor in Barcelona, Catalonia, Spain, Oct. 18, 2019.

    Police officer keeps hitting a young man who fell to the floor in Barcelona, Catalonia, Spain, Oct. 18, 2019. | Photo: Reuters

Published 19 October 2019

Although over 180 people were injured and 300 arrested, pro-independence citizens have pledged their commitment to new demonstrations on Saturday.

After a nationwide strike full of marches, protests and barricades, Barcelona woke up on Saturday with a strong smell of charred objects after a night in which the riot police harshly repressed pro-independence activists and left over 180 people injured and 300 arrested.

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'March for Freedom' Strike Continues Across Catalan Region

In the downtown area of the Catalan capital, a country which decided by means of a referendum to become independent from Spain, pieces of cobblestones, broken glass, burnt tires and rubber bullet cartridges remained as vestiges of the clashes that took place between the citizens and state security forces.

The situation could remain the same in the short-term as pro-independence political organizations and social movements convened a new day of protests and a new massive rally which will begin at 6:00 P.M. (local time) at the Urquinaona Square.

One of them is Arran, a left-wing youth organization which called for the resignation of the regional Interior Minister Miquel Buch.

"Yesterday began a new journey of demonstrations and a night of extreme police violence. Today, we go out to the streets! Enough repression!," Arran said and demanded the immediate release of political prisoners and detainees.

"THE STREETS WILL ALWAYS BE OURS. Comrades, this is not Catalonia, it is Berlin. It is the international solidarity tsunami which the repression from the Spanish post-Franco regime has triggered. To victory! Free political prisoners!"

On the other hand, besides threatening to mobilize its militants, the far-right party VOX on Friday extended its complaint against the Catalan regional government president Quim Torra, who is now being accused of rebellion, public disorder, illegal demonstration and collaboration with terrorists.

Long-term discontent against the Spanish monarchy resumed all over Catalonia on October 14, when Spain's Supreme Court handed down lengthy prison terms to nine Catalan social and political leaders who staged a banned referendum on independence in 2017.

Currently, Catalonia is a "semi-autonomous region" which has some 7.5 million inhabitants who have their own language, parliament and flag.

So far there are no lasting solutions to the political crisis taking place in this region since Spain's Prime Minister Pedro Sanchez has once again reaffirmed the official perception of what is happening.

"Spain's government reiterates that Catalonia's problem is not independence, which will not occur because it is not legal and nor do the majority of Catalans want it, but rather coexistence," he said.

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