Barcelona’s Sagrada Familia cathedral shut down by Catalan ‘Picnic for the Republic’ protesters (PHOTOS, VIDEO)
Barcelona’s iconic Sagrada Familia basilica has been shut down amid a general strike across the region; it follows four nights of protests over the sentencing of Catalonian separatist leaders by the Spanish Supreme Court.
A group known as ‘Picnic for the Republic’ has set up outside the iconic cathedral, blocking access to the UNESCO World Heritage Site. The site’s administration tweeted that access can no longer be guaranteed and that tickets will be refunded.
🔴 [EN] Due to a group of protesters currently stationed in front of the Basilica, blocking the entrance, we can’t ensure visitors will have access to the grounds.
We hope the situation will return to normal as quickly as possible. (1/3)
— La Sagrada Família (@sagradafamilia) October 18, 2019
Until Friday, protests had targeted important transport infrastructure, including Barcelona’s El Prat airport, as well as its metro system, and surrounding highways, however, a “nationwide strike” called by several major pro-independence unions is expected to receive widespread support.
Catalonian car manufacturer Seat suspended operations on Thursday evening.
The unrest began Monday after nine separatist leaders were sentenced to a cumulative 100-year prison sentence. On Friday morning, former Catalan leader Carles Puigdemont presented himself to authorities in Belgium, where he is currently in exile, following the reissue of a European arrest warrant by the Spanish Supreme Court.
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