Aggressive Spanish nationalists attempted to force their way into the Barcelona city hall on Sunday, and city police on duty at the central Plaça Sant Jaume building decided to remove the large yellow ribbon on the façade in the face of the vehemence of the unionist demonstration. Some of the protesters went as far as knocking a police officer to the ground.
Translation: Tension in Plaça Sant Jaume over the yellow ribbon on the city hall façade when a Tabarnia protest was being held.
The events occurred during the demonstration organized by the unionist platform Tabarnia on Sunday at midday. The yellow bow symbol on a banner, which has been displayed on the facade of the city hall for months in solidarity with the imprisonment of Catalan political and civic leaders, had been blown out of position by the day's strong wind. As a consequence, municipal workers adjusted it so that it was hanging properly. At the sight of the ribbon being made fully visible again, the unionists began to whistle and some attempted to force entry into the city hall building, leading to moments of great tension. During the struggle, some unionists forced a city police officer to the ground.
Given the tension, city council staff then removed the yellow-ribbon banner, a move greeted with great applause by the unionists and the playing of the Spanish national anthem on their speaker system. Hours later, the city council once again put the banner on display in its position on the façade.
The unionist demonstration protest was called to protest against the "discrimination by a part of the Catalan people" and to demand that Catalan president Quim Torra must not "govern for 47% of Catalans". During the march, many of the demonstrators shouted insults against Torra, such as, "Torra racist, the first on the list". About a thousand people took part in the march through central Barcelona, from Plaça Urquinaona via Plaça Sant Jaume to the beach at Barceloneta, chanting slogans that included anti-independence movement lines such as "Send them all to prison" or "Separatist, terrorist".
Eulàlia Reguant, Barcelona city councillor for the left-wing CUP party, complained in a tweet that city police had removed the yellow ribbon banner from the city hall's façade, among many who tweeted similarly critical messages on the incident.
Avui a Pl. Sant Jaume una concentració ha tret el llaç groc de la façana de @bcn_ajuntament. Com? Gràcies a la Guàrdia Urbana: la persecució al #LlibertatPresosPolítics rep la inestimable col•laboració de la @barcelona_GUB. pic.twitter.com/Y9aGJmqYjc— Eulàlia Reguant Cura (@aramateix) 27 de mayo de 2018
Translation: Today in Plaça Sant Jaume a protest has removed the yellow ribbon from the city hall façade. How? Thanks to the city police: the persecution of the #FreedomPoliticalPrisoners received the helpful collaboration of the Barcelona city police. - Eulàlia Reguant