Tens of thousands of Barcelona protesters marched between two symbolically-European points on Sunday afternoon - the central offices of the European Commission in Passeig de Gràcia, and the German consulate in the Vila Olímpica district - in a massive show of support for Catalan president Carles Puigdemont, and a protest against his detention in Germany, which took place on Sunday morning. The protesters were responding to a call made by civil group Catalan National Assembly (ANC) with the participation of the major pro-independence political parties: ERC, JxCat and the CUP.
But this was not the only march. Thousands more responded to the Committees for the Defence of the Republic (CDRs) and other groups' calls, and gathered in front of the Spanish government's Catalonia delegation, which had been turned into a fortress by major police deployment. As also occurred last Friday, there were moments of tension and police charges, with at least thirty injuries and three people arrested.
The major ANC march gathered in front of the European Commission's Barcelona office, with the intention of marching to the German Consulate, located in the Mapfre tower of the Vila Olímpica, while in parallel the CDRs were calling for "civil disobedience." The route of the ANC march, however, took a detour in order to pass in front of the Spanish government's local delegation.
Meanwhile, the other protest, called by the CDRs had begun on the Rambla, with chants of "Freedom for political prisoners", "Puigdemont, our president" and "This Europe is shameful". This march first joined the ANC concentration in Passeig de Gràcia and then once again separated, remaining in front of the Spanish government delegation.
A major police deployment, with Catalan Mossos d'Esquadra and Barcelona city police, accompanied the demonstrations and temporarily cut traffic flow on several: streets: the Rambla, Carrer Pelai, Gran Vía and Passeig de Gràcia.
In the streets surrounding the Spanish government delegation, there were police charges. According to the Mossos, "moments of tension" were experienced and "some pushes" took place to prevent protesters from breaking the security cordon, noting that this barrier "was not breached".
Some demonstrators dragged "garbage containers and threw paint, eggs, glass bottles and used anti-personnel sprays against police agents," say the Mossos. For security reasons, they warned people not to try to go beyond the line marked by the police. The ambulance emergency services reported that they sent "five special units to the centre of Barcelona".
Just last Friday the Mossos d'Esquadra were guarding the streets adjacent to the Spanish government delegation in Barcelona, when thousands of people gathered on the streets to protest the pre-trial imprisonment for Catalan leaders decided by Supreme Court judge Llarena. Due to police charges on Friday, 37 people were injured, two of them seriously.