The images of unrest involving a small minority in Barcelona over the last few evenings have rather overshadowed the peaceful daily protests involving thousands of people. This evening, pro-independence organisations invited supporters in Barcelona to meet at the crossroads of Passeig de Gràcia and Avinguda Diagonal. 13,000 people, according to the Urban Guard, many of whom followed the call the bring balls and sports clothing which they used to do everything from juggle to play volleyball.
At the same time, however, and for the first time on a large scale in Barcelona this week, pro-Spanish protesters were holding their own demonstration in plaça d'Artós to "defend the Spanish flag". That demonstration saw scenes of high tension, with protesters throwing various objects towards officers of the Mossos d'Esquadra, the Catalan police, who then attacked back.
A police cordon separated the two demonstrations at all times, but the unionists tried to throw glass bottles and "pyrotechnic devices" over it at anti-fascist counterprotesters. The pro-Spain protesters were also seen to give fascist salutes and sing Cara al Sol, a Francoist anthem.
At one point, a large group of people with Spanish flags started running towards the pro-independence demonstration.