Pro-independence CDRs (Committees for the Defence of the Republic) protest groups surrounded Barcelona's main train station at Sants on Monday evening as protest actions continue against the Spanish Supreme Court verdicts announced two weeks ago today, which have sent nine political and civil group leaders to jail for terms of 9 to 13 years. The Catalan Mossos police, alerted by the CDR call to its supporters, closed all accesses to the station an hour before the prescribed time of the protest, stopping everyone except train and metro passengers from entering.
Just after 7pm, hundreds of people gathered at the Plaça dels Països Catalans entrance calling for the release of the Catalan political prisoners. A police cordon prevented them from entering the station.
After this initial attempt to enter the station, protesters then spent time assembled outside and chanting before they were on the move once again, surrounding both of the accesses to the station. A mass of protesters blocked both accesses, but the Mossos created a small corridor allowing passengers inside to slowly leave the station.
During the wait, some passengers tried to get through the crowd to the police cordon to show their ticket and thus be granted entry to the station. Others resigned themselves to finding their way to another suitable station.
After almost two hours of blockade, moments of tension occurred between protesters and Mossos at the Plaça dels Països Catalans entrance, with pushing and some baton blows.
At one point, protesters also tried to stop some passengers from entering the station, prompting the Catalan police to make brief baton charges to allow the passengers through.
The demonstrators also harrassed a journalist from the Spanish network Antenna 3 as he covered the demonstration. They chanted at him, whistled and accused his network of lying.
Finally, three hours after the start of the action, the intensity of the demonstration began to fall: some of those who had been protesting left, while others sat down on the ground with friends and opened drinks. One small group even began a friendly conversation about police action with Mossos "Brimo" riot squad members who were guarding the station.