The motto is "united against the repression". Tens of thousands of people have filled the streets of Barcelona this Friday evening, hours after Supreme Court judge Pablo Llarena decided to send five more pro-independence leaders into pretrial detention without bail. The five are: candidate for president Jordi Turull, former Parliament speaker Carme Forcadell and ministers Josep Rull, Dolors Bassa and Raül Romeva. He has also issued arrest warrants against president Puigdemont, the ministers in exile and Marta Rovira, who announced this morning she was going into exile.
At 8pm a joint event was held by Barcelona city council, ANC, Òmnium Cultural, AMI, ACM and other parties and organisations in Barcelona's famous plaça Catalunya. A manifesto was read condemning events. Later, after being called by ANC, thousands of people started marching towards the building belonging to the Spanish government delegation to Catalonia, joining with other demonstrations, like one called by a local CDR (Committee for the Defence of the Republic).
"Today we're living another Black Friday. Once again, our political representatives, men and women of integrity, honourable, pacific and with profound democratic convictions have been imprisoned," the manifesto starts. "We will continue to defend our political ideas because they don't have iron bars which can shut them up."
"The state, instead of acting like a mature democracy, where dialogue and agreement are the engine of social cohesion, have decided to offer baton hits, scorn, humiliation, threats and, finally, prison," they say. They describe it as a "general [criminal] case against the independence movement, a true witch hunt, ferocious and savage, without limits". The speech ended with "three minutes of indignation", during which those present shouted "freedom".
During the speeches, Òmnium Cultural's spokesperson, Marcel Mauri, denounced that a "corrupt" Spanish government is using all the instruments of the state "against a country which isn't behaving how they would like it to behave". In this face of this "asphyxiation", Mauri called for "reclaiming the streets and our institutions". For that reason, he called for unity between the pro-independence majority: "Let's leave the criticisms and construct the essential unity".
For his part, ANC's vice-president, Agustí Alcoberro, called on supporters "to not fall into provocations". He did so when already close to the building of the Spanish government delegation to Catalonia, from where he expressed regret that "today we share a very strong indignation and a bitter sadness". Nonetheless, he promised to turn it into a victory. "The cause for which they have imprisoned, exiled and charged our representatives is that we won the 1st October referendum."