Thousands march through Barcelona claiming independence

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Catalan politicians joined thousands of independence supporters protesting in Barcelona against the trial of 12 separatist leaders.

Demonstrators flooded central Barcelona waving pro-independence Estelada flags and chanting in Catalan: “Freedom for political prisoners”.

The trial began on February 12 and is expected to last at least three months. The 12 defendants face charges of rebellion, sedition and misuse of public funds for their roles in a failed independence drive in 2017.

Spain’s Prime Minister Pedro Sanchez called a snap national election for April 28, after losing a key budget vote earlier in the week.

Catalan pro-independence parties voted against the draft fiscal bill contributing to its defeat and triggering the prime minister’s decision to call elections

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