Fresh protests in Spain over Catalan sentence

Supreme Court judge Manuel Marchena centre arrives at the court in Madrid Spain Monday Oct. 14 2019. Spain's Supreme Court is set to rule on a

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Police scuffle with protesters during a demonstration at El Prat airport, on the outskirts of Barcelona on Monday, Oct. 14, 2019.

Barcelona's El Prat Airport has become a scene of brutal clashes between the crowds of Catalan protesters and police in riot gear today.

"Everything is prepared and (the government) will act, if needed, with firmness, proportionality and unity", a government statement said.

That has left acting Prime Minister Pedro Sanchez, whose centre-left Socialist Party has advocated dialogue with Catalonian leaders but refused to cede ground on a referendum, in a almost impossible political situation.

Borrell was speaking a day after Spain's Supreme Court sentenced nine separatist leaders from Catalonia to between nine and 13 years in prison for sedition over their role in a failed independence bid.

The tone contrasts with the festive style of the first mass pro-independence rallies staged almost a decade ago by influential grass-roots separatist associations ANC and Omnium which dubbed their movement the "revolution of smiles".

After a surge in separatist sentiment since the global economic crisis that hit Spain particularly hard, around half of Catalonia's 7.5 million residents want to break away from Spain and forge a new European country.

The protests come after separatist leaders were jailed Monday for sedition. Almost 125 people have also been injured during the protests, 72 among them were police officials.

The leader of Spain's center-right Popular Party, Pablo Casado, on Twitter called for acting Prime Minister Pedro Sanchez to activate the national security law and take control of Catalonia's security forces to "guarantee security and public order".

The situation is worrying the main Catalan business lobby which said although the verdict would have a "significant emotional impact", it was important the response avoided disrupting "business activity or social cohesion".

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The club said they were "committed to opening a process of dialogue and negotiation between all parties, without limits or conditions".

Freedom Political Prisoners: Roads and terminals were blocked by furious Catalan independence supporters.

Students in the restive region went on strike, with organizers urging them to remain peaceful.

Protests continue into their second day in Spain's Catalonia region. Flights and passenger movements at Barcelona airport have also been disrupted by protests.

"Nothing can justify violence", Rufián told Cadena SER radio.

Grassroots pro-secession groups have previously said that if any of the defendants were found guilty they would organise protests and "peaceful civil disobedience".

Spanish Interior Minister Fernando Grande-Marlaska said investigators were trying to identify those behind Democratic Tsunami.

"This isn't violence, it's self-defence", roared a group of masked youngsters in front of a blazing barricade.

Spain's Supreme Court has convicted 12 former Catalan politicians and activists for their roles in the secession movement of 2017.

Former parliamentary speaker Carme Forcadell was handed 11 years and six months in prison, while five other former ministers in the Catalan government were jailed for between 10 years and six months and 12 years. Four of them were additionally convicted of misuse of public funds and three were fined for disobedience.

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