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Authorities in Catalonia clear protests on AP-7 freeway near Girona

Supporters of independence for the northeastern region have been trying to block the road, which links Spain with France, since Monday

Police officers at the point on the AP-7 where it was blocked by protestors.
Police officers at the point on the AP-7 where it was blocked by protestors.

The Catalan police today cleared the AP-7 highway in Girona after pro-independence protesters blocked it for around 16 hours.

Riot officers from the Mossos d’Esquadra, the regional police force, began arriving on the scene at 10am on Wednesday and were greeted with flying objects hurled at them by around 200 demonstrators.

Democratic Tsunami had called off the action at 8am, but a group of supporters decided to stay behind

The roadblock organizer, a movement called Democratic Tsunami that has no visible leaders, had called off the action at 8am, but a group of supporters decided to stay behind.

At noon on Wednesday the highway remained closed to traffic as cleanup crews worked to remove the barricades.

There were severe traffic disruptions on Wednesday morning, with vehicles backed up for as much as 13 kilometers between Fornells de la Selva and Girona going both ways.

Around 500 vehicles were trapped by the roadblock, according to the Mossos d’Esquadra. Emergency services showed up to hand out food and blankets to trapped drivers and to assist elderly people and individuals with health problems.

The roadblock was set up near the town of Salt, at Kilometer 64 of the busy AP-7 highway that connects Spain and France. The action began at 6pm on Tuesday, after French, Spanish and Catalan police officers had cleared the border crossing near La Jonquera, where protesters had set up barricades for 30 hours. Nineteen people were arrested there on Tuesday.

“Tsunami’s international network” is planning new action, and demanded that the Spanish state sit down for talks

Democratic Tsunami, which encourages direct action in support of Catalan independence, had announced three days of roadblocks. In a social media statement, the movement said on Wednesday that “we consider that the goal has been reached” and called off the roadblocks. This goal was described as creating “a Spanish state isolated from Europe through the strength of the people.”

The statement also warned that “Tsunami’s international network” is planning new action, and demanded that the Spanish state sit down for talks in order to negotiate a way out of the conflict.

English version by Susana Urra.

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