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Catalan pro-independence group Òmnium Cultural has appealed to the public to gather at 6pm this Friday afternoon at a Barcelona location that has gained a special, new significance since autumn 2017: the intersection of Gran Via and Rambla de Catalunya. This central location, outside the building which houses the Catalan government's economy ministry, was the site of a large demonstration on 20th September, 2017, in the build-up to Catalonia's independence referendum, an event which, despite being almost entirely peaceful, became a key element in the charges of rebellion against the pro-independence leaders tried in Spain's Supreme Court. 

At this Friday's event, "Voices for rights and freedoms", figures from the cultural, political, social circles and families of the Catalan political prisoners will take part, marking two years since the so-called '20-S'.Civil society group Catalan National Assembly (ANC) also supports the initiative.

The hour-long mobilization, as Òmnium explains in a tweet, seeks to "stand up for the violated rights" of the Catalan prisoners and exiles.

On September 20th, 2017, a number of members of the Catalan government were arrested by police in relation to the organization of the referendum due on 1st October that year, and agents of the Civil Guard entered the headquarters of the Catalan ministry of economy in Rambla de Catalunya, to carry out a judicially-authorised search for material related to the referendum.

After hearing of the entry of Civil Guard agents into several key Catalan government buildings that morning, thousands of people began to gather in support of the Catalan government and in defence of the October 1st referendum.

The location that attracted the largest crowd was Rambla de Catalunya, outside the economy ministry. According to Barcelona city police, ​​the crowd numbered 40,000 during some periods of the day.

Arising from the events of that day, the leader of Òmnium, Jordi Cuixart, and the then-president of the ANC, Jordi Sànchez, were accused of trying to hinder the judicially-authorised action, and this was the origin of the criminal cases against them - including charges of rebellion and sedition - for which they have been imprisoned preventatively since 16th October, 2017.

 

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