Catalans Rally at Barcelona Parliament, Push for Independence

450,000 Form 'Human Shield' to Prevent President's Arrest

The Spanish government moved forward Saturday with attempts to oust the regional government in autonomous Catalonia, along with an effort to suspend their long-time independence, as punishment for a referendum calling for a declaration of independence.

The dismissal of the regional government isn’t as simple as Spain might’ve expected, however, with Catalan officials rejecting the move, and some 450,000 demonstrators in the streets of Barcelona pushing for a declaration of independence.

Demonstrators are largely surrounding the regional parliament, with an eye toward stopping Spanish national police from arresting Catalan President Carles Puigdemont. Spain has repeatedly threatened to arrest Puigdemont for sedition related to his support for independence.

So far, however, most of Spain’s efforts have just been talk, with Spanish officials announcing their intention to shut down the Catalan government and eventually hold new elections. Spanish officials have, however, attempted to seize control of media within Catalonia, saying that for the sake of “balanced” reporting they need to replace Catalan reporters with Spanish picks.

Author: Jason Ditz

Jason Ditz is senior editor of