Marchers protest against detention of Catalan separatists

Pro-independence supporters attend a demonstration in Barcelona Spain

Pro-independence supporters attend a demonstration in Barcelona Spain

The first two jailed were Jordi Sanchez and Jordi Cuixart, who wield influence through their pro-independence civic organizations.

"But it is not a separatist protest".

"They need to demonstrate that there was violence to execute the sentences that they want, so they invent it", she said, adding: "But we will continue to protest peacefully".

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The regional chapters of Spain's two leading labor unions, along with other civil society groups, supported the protest, despite the complaints from some members who disagree with secession for Catalonia.

It is estimated that more than 300.000 people participated in the protest.

"The majority of Catalans, regardless of their political position, agree that pre-
trial jail is not justified", said regional UGT union leader Camil Ros. "It is time to build bridges and the Catalan problem can not be solved through the courts but by dialogue and politics", he added.

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The demonstration comes 10 days after a German court dismissed an extradition request for Catalonia's ousted separatist president Carles Puigdemont on grounds of rebellion and released him on bail. They are among the nine separatists leaders imprisoned.

While conceding that the arrests of prominent Catalan leaders on possible charges of rebellion, sedition and misuse of public funds had left the independence movement "decapitated", he said the setback was only temporary.

"The interpretation of the references to "Catalonia as a nation" and to "the national reality of Catalonia" in the preamble of the Statute of Autonomy of Catalonia have no legal effect", the constitutional court had decreed.

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According to Xavier Domenech's opinion, leader of Catalonia in Comú-Podem, the "transversal mobilization" of this Sunday in the Catalan capital is the way to recover the rights and freedoms, which are being lost, he denounced, by the democratic regression of the Spanish State.

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