More than 300,000 took to the streets of Barcelona on Sunday to demand that the Spanish government in Madrid release the Catalan independence movement leaders that are being held in detention ahead of the trial.
The protesters, carrying numerous Catalan flags, walked behind a huge banner reading: “For rights and liberties, for democracy and unity, we want them back home!” Many in the crowd also chanted: "Freedom for the political prisoners."
— ((( Marc Portet i Bruguera ))) (@portet_bruguera) April 15, 2018
The rally was organized by the National Catalan Assembly and Omnium pro-independence groups, whose leaders, Jordi Sanchez and Jordi Cuixart, were arrested in Madrid six months ago. Sanchez and Cuixart may face up to 30 years in prison on rebellion charges.
“The majority of Catalans, regardless of their political position, agree that pre-trial jail is not justified,” Camil Ros, the leader of the Catalan branch of the UGT trade union, which also supported the protest, said. “What we as labor unions are asking for now is dialogue.”'
Read more: Hundreds of thousands demand release of independence leaders in Barcelona