Another night of protests has swept across Catalunya in response to former president Carles Puigdemont’s arrest in Germany – this time with three motorways being blocked.
Throughout the day and right up until late evening, the AP-7 motorway close to the French border was barricaded by demonstrators, as was the A-2 motorway and the N-340 inter-provincial highway in Alcanar (Tarragona province).
Police did not succeed in reopening them until past 19.00 last night.
Bearing riot shields and truncheons, officers forced over 200 demonstrators off the A-2 through Soses and in Alcarràs (Lleida province), where they had been since the morning, pushing them onto the hard shoulder.
Several hundred more barricaded the N-340 in both directions in L’Ampolla and Alcanar for most of the evening, forcing police to set up a traffic diversion via the N-235.
After the A-2 and N-340 were reopened, sometime around 19.00, protesters blockaded the AP-7 motorway in L’Ampolla with a slow march on foot in the Barcelona direction, causing a tailback of over two kilometres.
The motorway was not clear again for at least another two hours, or sometime after 21.00.
Protesters had already blocked the AP-7 in Figueres (Girona) in the morning and police took until 14.15 to move them on, although they moved straight onto the N-11 in Ller, which was shut for several hours.
Members of the pressure group known as the Republic Defence Committee (CDR) surrounded Barcelona’s Sants station but did not manage to get onto the tracks or disrupt rail traffic.
Close by, in the Plaza Joan Peiró, hundreds of demonstrators chanted, “freedom for political prisoners,” “general strike,” and carried a banner reading, “autonomous government is over, time to trigger the republic.”
Protesters unable to get into Sants station because of a police blockade moved to the neighbouring Plaça dels Països Catalans, and at one point, some of the crowd threw yellow paintballs at the Mossos d’Esquadra officers.
Overnight, the N-154 in Puigcerdà, the N-152 in La Guingueta d’Ix – close to the French border – and the C-37 in Vall d’en Bas, all in the province of Girona, were barricaded by crowds of protesters, although it is believed police managed to reopen them this morning.