Thousands Protested Catalonia's Independence Declaration in Barcelona this Weekend
All photos by Felipe Carnotto
Catalan Referendum

Thousands Protested Catalonia's Independence Declaration in Barcelona this Weekend

Photographer Felipe Carnotto was there to document it.
30 October 2017, 7:53pm

This article originally appeared on VICE Spain

On Sunday the 29th of October, two days after the Catalan government declared independence from Spain, hundreds of thousands of people took to the streets of Barcelona to protest that decision, and publicly support Spanish unity. According to the organisers, the Societat Civil Catalana (SCC), more than a million people attended the demonstration, though local police authorities say the number was closer to 300,000.

The decision by Catalonia's parliament to officially break away from Spain on Friday, came three weeks after thousands of Catalans voted in an independence referendum – a vote both the Spanish government and a Spanish court ruled unconstitutional. In response to last Friday's independence declaration, Spanish PM Mariano Rajoy announced on Saturday that Catalonia would be stripped of its autonomous status, and Spain's Deputy Prime Minister, Soraya Saenz de Santamaria, would take charge of the region – replacing Catalan leader Carles Puigdemont.

Sunday's march in Barcelona's popular Passeig de Gràcia avenue was the latest in a series of both pro-union and pro-independence protests that have taken place across Spain since the referendum. Photographer Felipe Carnotto documented the day and spoke to a few protesters about their worries for the future of Spain.

Scroll down to see more photos from Sunday's pro-union march in Barcelona.

Kiko, 30, said he worries that the Spanish government might make things worse if they don't find a way to negotiate with Puidgemont. "I am protesting because I feel Spanish," he said. "I support the Spanish government's decision, but they need to water their message down a bit so they don't fuck up our chances of peacefully coexisting in the future."

Protesters on Passeig de Gràcia.

The slogan of the march was "We are all Catalonia".

One protester wrapped a Spanish flag around a bull's horn. Many expect Catalonia to ban bullfighting if it gains independence.

Isac, 32, is an Australian who lives in Barcelona. He said that many young people in Catalonia are pro-union, but don't want to admit it publicly, because they're worried about what their peers will think.

The majority of protesters walked around with Spanish flags, while many carried banners that read, "Spain will not be divided," and "Imprison Puigdemont".

Towards the end of the protest, far-right extremists clashed with police trying to disperse the crowds.

The march ended around 4PM.