Catalan protesters block roads and train lines in region-wide strike

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Manel Marquez/Twitter‏
Protesters blocking a main road

DEMONSTRATORS in Cataluña have banded together to obstruct roads, motorways and train lines across the region as part of a pro-independence strike.

Protestors have blocked roads in more than 50 locations in Cataluña today (Wednesday), according to the Catalan Transit Service, including the main A-2 motorway which runs from Barcelona to Madrid and the AP-7 which links the country to France.

Those taking part in the demonstration, called by pro-independence trade union Intersindical-CSC, carried flags and banners supporting the independence declaration and demanded the release of Catalan cabinet members and civic leaders who are currently behind bars.

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The road blockages have caused long lines of traffic across the region and people have also gathered in stations and thrown items on train lines to disrupt services.

Police officers have also reportedly been deployed across the region to remove protestors and ease the flow of traffic.

Going on strike for political reasons is illegal in Spain, and the union who called the strike allegedly did so to highlight job insecurity after many companies chose to move their headquarters out of the region following the independence referendum on October 1.

The demonstration quickly turned political, however, with many protestors holding banners to support the “Republic of Cataluña” and demand their political leaders are released from jail.

Many citizens have also taken to social media to criticise the strike as it has affected peak travel times and prevented many commuters from getting to work.

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