A group of far-right supporters caused several incidents this Saturday afternoon at the Plaça de Tetuan, in Barcelona's Eixample district, where the pro-independence Catalan National Assembly (ANC) had mounted a stall. Equipped with Spanish flags, around a dozen people harassed those who were at the stall and took their material. In addition, they removed yellow bows which had been placed as symbols of solidarity with the imprisoned independence leaders.
The ANC members responded with shouts of "Fascists!" and explained to the group that they had permission to be in the square all day. There were moments of tension between the two groups and police officers had to intervene.
Violència a plaça tetuan... sempre amb violència. Fora feixisme! pic.twitter.com/dA0TxrITy0— Bruno (@brunobasas) 12 de gener de 2019
Violence in Plaça Tetuan... It's always violence. Fascism, out!— Bruno
En aquets moments a plaça Tetuan pic.twitter.com/WtN7jbBPVP— KitCAT 🎗🎗 (@CatalaKit) 12 de gener de 2019
In the morning, Plaça Tetuan has been the location for the event Matinal Groga (Yellow morning), also organised by the ANC, which included informative talks on the Catalan republic and musical performances, and also served to raise money for the independence solidarity fund.
At the same time, several blocks away, around 200 people had gathered at the doors of the Catalan interior ministry to support the "constitutionalist" Mossos d'Esquadra police and denounce what they referred to as the "manipulation" of the Catalan police force. This protest, called by the police union Unión de Mossos por la Constitución and the Unión Democracia Española, was supported by the far-right parties Vox and Plataforma per Catalunya.
Although the two protests took place without incident during the morning, some of the anti-independence demonstrators later walked the 200 metres from the interior ministry to Plaça Tetuan, and that was when the incidents began. Finally, the Mossos d'Esquadra set up a police cordon to separate the two groups.
Some witnesses explained that the unionist protesters had taken a mobile phone from an ANC member who was filming the events. For this reason, a call has been issued on social media to share images of what happened in the Plaça, in order to identify those responsible.