Thousands of people demonstrating both for and against Catalan independence shut down parts of central Barcelona on Saturday, two days before the anniversary of a vote on secession last year that polarised the wealthy Spanish region.
Tensions remain high in the independence-minded region a year after the October 1 vote deemed illegal by Madrid but celebrated by separatist Catalans.
Pro-independence groups camped out overnight on Friday to prevent a demonstration in support of police deployed in Catalonia during last year’s failed bid to split from Spain. Catalan authorities said almost 1000 people were injured after police tried to stop voting at polling stations across the region a year ago.
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