'Thousands took to the streets of Barcelona Monday ahead of the start of the trial'
BARCELONA — Around 40,000 people took to the streets of Barcelona Monday ahead of the start of the trial of former Catalan president Artur Mas and two members of his cabinet, who are accused of organizing an illegal vote on independence from Spain in 2014.
In a carefully organized show of force, the defendants walked from
the headquarters of the regional government to the courthouse
accompanied by members of the current Catalan cabinet. Thousands of
supporters made their voices heard, shouting “independence” and “you are
not alone” and waving pro-independence banners.
“Thank you for your support, affection, convictions, ideals, for
always standing up to defend Catalonia,” Mas told the crowd in a short
statement after an initial court hearing.
“Many of us feel that we’re being judged today,” said current Catalan President Carles Puigdemont. “Those responsible for making [the vote] a judicial affair will face a nation that maintains its dignity.”