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Spain's king Felipe VI is to visit Barcelona this Friday morning and there will be protests. Pro-independence groups, political parties and unions have announced an action to receive the Spanish monarch: a human chain will be constructed running from the city's Estació de França, venue for the event that the king is to attend​, to the Columbus Monument, at the seaward end of the Rambla.

The aim, according to the organizers, is to make it clear to "Felipe VI that he is not welcome and that Catalonia has no king" and to denounce "the impunity of the Bourbons and the complicity and collusion of the Spanish government", just one week after the third anniversary of the October 1st 2017 referendum and the events of October 3rd, with the visit also coming days after the disqualification from office of Catalan president Quim Torra.

"King Felipe VI and prime minister Pedro Sánchez are coming to Catalonia this Friday. We denounce Bourbon impunity, with the connivance of the Spanish government and the powers of the state. In Catalonia we have no king! 9th October, 10am, from Estació de França, to the Columbus Monument."— Òmnium Cultural 

How will the protest function?

The protest action will begin at ten in the morning in a coordinated manner at various points. In order to avoid congestion and comply with health and safety measures against coronavirus, participants will be divided into twelve different segments, running along the straight line formed by the three streets - Passeig de Colom, Passeig d'Isabel II and Avinguda Marquès de l'Argentera - which connect the Columbus Monument to the Estació de França. The segments will be assigned based on where participants live:

  • Columbus Monument to Carrer del Parc: for those in the Ciutat Vella district and those from outside Barcelona
  • Carrer del Parc to Plaça Duc de Medinaceli for residents of Horta-Guinardó
  • Duc Medinaceli to Carrer de Boltres for those from Sarrià-Sant Gervasi
  • Carrer de Boltres to Carrer de la Plata for those from Gràcia
  • Carrer de la Plata to Via Laietana for those from Nou Barris
  • Via Laietana to Pla de Palau for those from Sant Andreu;
  • Pla de Palau to Rere Palau for those from Les Corts
  • Rere Palau to Comerç for those from Sants-Montjuïc
  • Carrer Comerç to Passeig Picasso, for residents of the Eixample.

The bodies and parties calling the protest are Òmnium Cultural, the Catalan National Assembly (ANC), JxCat, ERC, CUP, USTEC-STEs, the Intersindical-CSC union, IAC, Plataforma Pro Selecciones Esportives Catalanes, CIEMEN and Drets.

More actions

At the same time, the ANC has also called for a mass burning of photographs of Felipe VI outside all the town halls in Catalonia on Thursday night, at 8pm in Barcelona and in the majority of cities. The groups says this action will be the prelude to Friday's protest which will take place at the same time as the Spanish monarch is in Barcelona. "Let's give him a warm welcome" says the ANC in a tweet presenting its proposal to burn photos of the monarch.

"Neither king nor crown. INDEPENDENCE. The Bourbon returns to Catalonia. Shall we give him a warm welcome? On Thursday, a mass photo-burning in squares across the country! On Friday, we receive him as he deserves in Barcelona! Watch our networks!" - Catalan National Assembly

In addition, the CDR protest groups have also called a rally, although they have not yet specified further details. What they have asked for is for protesters to bring whistles and wear gloves.

"The visit of Felipe VI and @sanchezcastejon is getting closer and we know you want to receive them as they deserve. Tune up your whistles and wear gloves so you don't get your hands dirty. Let’s make it clear, forever, to the Bourbon leader that Catalonia has no king" - CDR_Barcelonès