Thousands Rally in Barcelona Demanding Release of Detained Politicians

Thousands Rally in Barcelona Demanding Release of Detained Politicians (PHOTOS)

Hundreds of thousands of people marched in Barcelona on Sunday to protest against the detention of nine Catalan separatists to be tried for "rebellion".

"They need to demonstrate that there was violence to execute the sentences that they want, so they invent it", she said.

The protest was backed by the Catalan branches of Spain's two largest trade unions, the CCOO and the UGT, sparking unease among union members who oppose independence for the wealthy northeastern region.

We will remind that the former head of the Catalan Generalitat left the prison in the German state of Schleswig-Holstein after the court agreed to release him on bail during the pendency of the request of Spain for his extradition.

Bank of Spain Governor Luis Maria Linde said on Monday that political tensions over a secession bid by the northern region of Catalonia could damage confidence in the Spanish economy.

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Many protesters chanted "Puigdemont, president!"

They are also accused of mobilizing thousands of pro-independence supporters to prevent police from stopping the October 1st independence referendum from going ahead.

The first two jailed were Jordi Sanchez and Jordi Cuixart, who wield influence through their pro-independence civic organizations.

Alex de Ferrer, a 50-year-old IT specialist, said he'planned to take part in the protest because jailing separatist leaders "only serves to manufacture separatists". The plebiscite was not recognized by Madrid, which subsequently imposed direct rule over the autonomous region and dismissed its government. If a new leader is not named before the end of May, Catalonia will be forced to call another election.

Spanish authorities quickly moved to crush the revived secessionist movement by arresting several Catalonian politicians on charges of rebellion and sedition.

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