16:57 GMT +315 November 2019
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    Students protest during a demonstration in Barcelona, Spain, Thursday, Oct. 31, 2019. Hundreds of young people decided to set up camp after Spain's Supreme Court convicted 12 separatist leaders of illegally promoting Catalonia region's independence and sentenced nine of them to prison.

    Catalan Protest Group Announces 'Ambitious' Plan for Rallies on Campaign Silence Day

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    MADRID (Sputnik) - Spain's secessionist region of Catalonia has been rocked by violent protests since mid-October. The demonstrations come in response to the Supreme Court's ruling to give lengthy prison terms to several Catalan leaders over their involvement in the semi-autonomous region's 2017 unsanctioned independence referendum.

    Catalan pro-independence group Democratic Tsunami has announced plans to organise new protests on 9 November, the day of campaign silence that precedes every election and have them continue after Sunday's parliamentary vote.

    The group wrote on Twitter that protests would be staged in 300 towns and cities across Catalonia on Saturday, with the main event expected at the Square of Catalonia in Barcelona. It called the planned action an act of "disobedience" against the central electoral commission.

    ​The rallies will continue right after the elections from 11-13 November. In its statement, the group urged protesters to prepare for the most "ambitious" action, likening it to the one held on 11 September, National Day of Catalonia.

    The movement reiterated its demands for self-determination and the release of Catalan independence leaders sent to prison for their role in the unsanctioned independence referendum of 2017.

    According to Democratic Tsunami, it will continue its non-violent protests regardless of the election results.

    Meanwhile, the Committees for the Defence of the Republic, a network of bodies that demand self-determination for Catalonia and which often stage protests in the region, maintain that they have not planned any protests on the election day itself, the Barcelona-based Vanguardia newspaper reported.

    Acting Prime Minister Pedro Sanchez, in turn, has announced that additional National Police Corps and the Civil Guard officers will be sent to the region to ensure order during the elections. He also reminded those who may try to thwart the vote about criminal liability.

    The Spanish people will go to the polls for the country's fourth election in four years on Sunday.

    Tags:
    protests, rallies, Catalonia, Spain
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