About 2,000 people, according to Barcelona’s municipal police force, 500,000, according to the organiser of the march, demonstrated yesterday on Barcelona’s avenguda Paral·lel in favour of the unity of Spain and against Catalan independence.
The flag-waving protesters marched behind a banner reading “Recuperamos la dignidad” (Returning our dignity). The demonstration which was convened by the Basque businessman José Manuel Opazo and which attracted up to 65 different associations, among them the VOX party, experienced moments of tension when passing carrer Mistral, where some 200 people were gathered in a counter-protest, convened by local anti-fascist movements. The Mossos d’Esquadra however, mounted a cordon preventing the two groups from coming into contact when it seemed that the insults exchanged could develop into conflict. Some of the chants claiming that Catalonia was anti-fascist were met by replies of “Nazis! Nazis!” Many banners and placards also refered to immigration and were accompanied by cries of “We don’t want these people here”. However, mostly the demonstrators called for the unity of Spain and the fact that Catalonia is part of Spain. Many asked for the reimplementation of Atricle 155 and the imprisonment of Carles Puigdemont. There were also insults hurled at the Mossos d’Esquadra and shouts of support for Spain’s National Police and the Guardia Civil.
The march ended with speeches from the convenors including German businessman Karl Jacobi who months ago had been involved in a confrontation with House Speaker Roger Torrent.