Thousands of pro-independence protesters rallied in Barcelona on Tuesday, to mark the first anniversary of the jailed leaders of Catalonia’s largest separatist organizations.
Jordi Cuixart, the leader of Omnium Cultural, and Jordi Sanchez of the Catalan National Assembly (ANC) were detained on charges of sedition on October 16, 2017, the first imprisonment of senior secessionist figures since Catalonia’s independence referendum.
A year on, protesters rallied with Catalonia flags and chanted, “Long live the Catalan republic.”
After a banned and chaotic referendum last October 1, Catalonia made a declaration of independence that led to Madrid taking over the regional administration.
Tensions remain high in the independence-minded region a year after the referendum deemed illegal by Madrid but celebrated by separatist Catalans.
Voters chose overwhelmingly to become independent, though turnout was low with those against secession largely boycotting the vote.