Monday, December 9, 2019
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Spain mulls response to violent Catalan protests

AFP
Barcelona
Spain’s government was on Wednesday preparing a response to the violent protests which have rocked Catalonia over the jailing of nine separatist leaders for their role in a failed 2017 independence bid.
Scores of people have been hurt and dozens arrested in two nights of clashes between protesters and police in Barcelona and other Catalan cities.
Angry demonstrations erupted across the region after Spain’s Supreme Court on Monday handed heavy prison terms to nine leaders convicted of sedition for holding a banned referendum then issuing a short-lived declaration of independence.
The convictions revived tensions in the wealthy northeastern region, split between Catalans who want independence and those who want the region to remain part of Spain.
In Barcelona late on Tuesday, police charged at hundreds of demonstrators -- many of them masked -- who hurled projectiles at the security forces and set fire to rubbish bins and cardboard boxes.
The wave of protests continued on Wednesday as thousands of demonstrators departed on foot along highways from five cities towards Barcelona.
They planned to gather there on Friday, when unions have called a general strike in the region.

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