Thousands of people rally in central Madrid, urge jailing of deposed secessionist leader

Vastavam web: “Prison for Puigdemont,” shouted thousands of people in central Madrid, gathered under a giant Spanish flag today in anger at Catalonia’s unilateral declaration of independence under secessionist leader Carles Puigdemont.As music blared from giant speakers from British band Coldplay to Spanish singer Manolo Escobar’s “Y viva Espana” (“And long live Spain” in Spanish) pro-unity protesters banded together on the square.”It is a disgrace what happened in Catalonia, and it’s a disgrace what happened after,” said Carlos Fernandez, a 41- year-old mining engineer.
On Friday, the Catalan parliament declared unilateral independence.Rajoy replied by axing Puigdemont and his executive, dissolving parliament, and calling snap December 21 regional elections to quash what he termed an “escalation of disobedience.””Today, we have all come to demonstrate our unity, to proclaim that we will get Catalonia back,” one presenter told the crowd.To cheers and shouts of “prison for Puigdemont,” she added: “We won’t stop until we see them in jail.”
Spanish prosecutors have announced they will next week file charges of “rebellion” against Puigdemont a crime punishable by up to 30 years in prison. People leant out of windows and cheered as dozens of protesters holding flags of the Spanish Legion, an army unit, and the small, far-right party National Democracy marched up, flanked by police.Back on the square, Jorge Marin, a 38-year-old engineer, said: “In the end, this is going to come to nothing.”