Following up on Trends Journal coverage of the ongoing Catalan independence movement, which erupted again following Spain’s Supreme Court sentencing of nine Catalan politicians and activists earlier this month, protests heated up this past weekend with some 850,000 people demonstrating in Barcelona.  

Despite the streets being filled with fervent supporters, organizers of the rally made it clear to the crowd that it was to be a peaceful march.  

Earlier in the day, over 300 mayors from towns and cities across the region met with Catalan President Quim Torra.  After the meeting, Torra reaffirmed his call for independence and said it was time to “force the Spanish state to talk.”

However, a rally of a more violent protest group gathered around the Barcelona police headquarters hurling stones and bottles.  Police backed by riot trucks forced the crowd to disperse.

It is reported that some 600 people – over 200 of them police – have been treated for injuries since 14 October.

Many of the younger protesters and workers participating in rallies are actually not in favor of seceding from Spain. Their anger is against Madrid’s economic austerity policies, which fall mainly on the middle class and poor as well as the erosion of basic democratic rights.

TREND FORECAST: It should be noted that all of these major protests are leaderless. It reveals the levels of independence and confidence protestors have in themselves and not that of single voice or party. 

The voice of the new 21st century leader is… The Internet.  Despite governments’ attempts to shut it down, minus a total blackout, which would be devastating to business, new apps and strategies will be designed and launched in the battle between protestors and governments. 

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