Hours before Spanish monarch Felipe VI is due to arrive on a brief visit to Catalonia, hundreds of images of him have been ceremonially burnt all over the country. It is a protest action organized by the Catalan National Assembly (ANC), which called on people to burn portraits of the king in gatherings in more than 180 Catalan cities, towns and villages, including Barcelona, Tarragona, Lleida, Girona, Tortosa, Igualada, Reus, Valls, Vilafranca del Penedès, Figueres, Vic, Mataró and Berga.
In Barcelona, hundreds of people gathered in Plaça Sant Jaume to give this "warm welcome" to the king, which will be completed on Friday morning with a human chain that will run from the Estació de França (where Spain's head of state will be present at the BCN New Economy Week event) to the Columbus Monument.
Forming a circle in the middle of Plaça Sant Jaume, about a hundred people gathered with dozens of portraits of Felipe VI, and they burned them amid chants such as Fora el Borbó, per fascista i cabró ("Out with the Bourbon, because he's a fascist and a bastard"). "Catalona has no king" and "Independence!" were also heard.
ANC president Elisenda Paluzie, present at the Barcelona protest, underlined "the great popular response to the Spanish monarchy." Paluzie stated that "the Bourbons have only ruled in Catalonia by right of conquest" and that the monarchy is an institution based on repression and undemocratic values, "as shown again by Felipe VI on October 3rd, 2017" .
The policing operation of the Catalan Mossos for this protest contrasted starkly with that of the CDR groups protest on the third anniversary of the 1st October referendum in the same square. That day, Plaça Sant Jaume was filled with a dozen police paddywagons, while this Thursday none were present.
And indeed during the protest, there was no confrontation with the police by demonstrators, whose average age was more advanced than those turning up to the CDR protests.
Protests across Catalonia
Photos of Felipe went up in flames in many other Catalan towns too - such as Tarragona.
Dozens of pro-independence activists also burned portraits in Manresa.
And in Cerdanyola del Vallès.
In Girona, a life-size Felipe VI effigy was mounted, upside down.
El rei ja crema pic.twitter.com/t8EiRRJO8t— ANC Girona 🎗 (@ancgirona) October 8, 2020
There was also a right royal roasting in Reus.
And in Berga.
Berga no te rei, peró si tenim fred d'alguna cosa ens serveix 🤘el borbó🤘 pic.twitter.com/8xuD6mLMgt— unrepublicàmes (@unindepemes) October 8, 2020
In Tàrrega (L'Urgell county).
In Vilafranca del Penedès.
And also in Rubí (Vallès Occidental county)
As well in Terrassa, also in the Vallès Occidental county.
In Campdevànol (Ripollès).
In the city of Sabadell.
In the village of Anglès (La Selva).
El foc renovador. pic.twitter.com/wV6i97VWCL— Consell Local per la República d'Anglès (@CLxRAngles) October 8, 2020
Also at Santa Coloma de Gramenet in suburban Barcelona.
Burning of images of the king of Spain also took place in Barcelona's Gràcia district.
Ve't-ho aquí pic.twitter.com/1Y3i0RN7ht— ANC Gràcia (@GraciaxINDP) October 8, 2020
In Torredembarra (Tarragonès).
In the city of Tarragona.
And in Figueres (in the Alt Empordà), where the fire was set in a toilet.