Paramedics attend a protestor during clashes with police in Barcelona, Spain, early Friday, Oct. 18, 2019. Catalonia's separatist leader vowed Thursday to hold a new vote to secede from Spain in less than two years as the embattled northeastern region grapples with a wave of violence that has tarnished a movement proud of its peaceful activism.
The Catalan regional capital is bracing for a fifth day of protests over the conviction of a dozen independence leaders.
Clashes with police broke out in Barcelona late on Thursday when a mob of far-right anti-independence activists tried to storm a big separatist protest. Health authorities in the region say 18 people were injured and the regional police arrested 11 protesters.
Spain’s central authorities say that 46 flights into and out of the region are canceled Friday due to a general strike called by pro-independence unions. Picketers have also blocked the border with France at the major crossing point of La Jonquera.
Five marches of tens of thousands of people from inland towns are expected to converge in Barcelona’s center on Friday afternoon for a mass protest with striking students and workers.