With just hours to go until the opening of the Mobile World Congress 2019 in Barcelona, the presence in the city of Spanish monarch Felipe VI to open the huge mobile trade fair has, once again, mobilized protesters this Sunday afternoon.
Pro-independence CDR activist groups called protests that have drawn around a thousand people to the areas around the mountain of Montjuic. The demonstrators cut traffic at the Plaça d'Espanya roundabout while they awaited the arrival of the Spanish king.
The march was called for 5pm at Plaça d'Espanya. The busy intersection very quickly filled with protesters and anti-monarchist slogans. "Bourbon, Francoist and terrorist", chorused members of the CDRs (Committees for Defence of the Republic).
One protestor burned a Spanish flag.
Many of those attending the rally are carrying pictures of the monarch and banging pots and pans.
More than a thousand people cut the Avinguda Reina Maria Cristina and marched towards the MNAC museum, at the entrance to the large Montjüic park, where the inaugural dinner for the Mobile World Congress is being held. These protesters were constantly controlled by a police cordon.
The CDR protest reached as far as Plaça Carles Buïgas, about 100 metres from the dinner venue, but from here the Catalan Mossos police did not allow them to move forward. For this reason, they turned tail and went back to the Plaça d'Espanya.
There, the protesters once again cut traffic by placing city council barriers on the road.
The CDRs had called the protest to oppose the presence of Spain's king Felipe VI at the opening dinner for the event, the world's largest mobile trade fair. They encouraged the public to tell the monarch he was "not welcome" and that Catalans are not his "subjects."
🗓️ Diumenge 24 el borbó pretén sopar a #Barcelona amb motiu de la inauguració del #MWC19— CDR Catalunya (@CDRCatOficial) 18 de febrer de 2019
👉 Us convoquem a totes a sortir al carrer per dir-li NO ETS BENVINGUT, NO SOM SÚBDITS!
🕔 A les 17:00 totes al MNAC!#DESTRONEMLO#TombemElRègim#EnguanyNoSopes#NiReiNiPor pic.twitter.com/tfOAdre7CH
In a press statement, Catalonia's CDRs said that Felipe VI "is not welcome" as he is the head of a state of a "demophobic, authoritarian, sexist and Francoist" Kingdom of Spain. The CDRs remind the public that the Spanish monarchy was imposed on the country by the "last fascist dictatorship in Europe", and the king represents a state that "keeps peoples and individuals imprisoned" and "imposes itself on us to keep the other dictatorship in power" - that of the "capital interests of the IBEX-35 share index."
❗ URGENT ❗— CDR Catalunya (@CDRCatOficial) 24 de febrer de 2019
👉 Ens plantem davant del #MNAC, on el borbó ve a sopar aquest nit.
👑🔥 Deixem ben clar que no hi és benvingut!
🔉 Fem crida a afegir-vos-hi des d'ara mateix.#Destronemlo#NiReiNiPor#CDRenXarxa pic.twitter.com/MYj6TDXblJ
After several hours on the streets, the CDRs called off the protests, alleging that Catalonia's Mossos d'Esquadra police and the Catalan government were "once again" protecting the Spanish regime of 1978.
[20:00] DESCONVOQUEM— CDR Catalunya (@CDRCatOficial) 24 de febrer de 2019
👉 Davant el blindatge policial dels @mossos i les múltiples identificacions, desconvoquem la concentració.
👉 Una vegada més, el @govern exerceix de protector i còmplice del règim del 78.
👭Torneu juntes a casa i estigueu alerta.#Destronemlo#CDRenXarxa
Recent surveys have shown that the vast majority of Catalans would prefer to be governed as a republic rather than a monarchy. The popularity of Felipe VI has progressively fallen in Catalonia over the five years of his reign, and especially after his hard-line speech on October 3rd 2017 following the independence referendum.