x

Abu Dhabi, UAEMonday 17 December 2018

Barcelona: Spain’s King Felipe joins march against terror

It is estimated that half a million people turned out in a display of defiant unity.

Spain's King Felipe (C), Prime Minister Mariano Rajoy (L) and Catalan regional president Carles Puigdemont (R) take part in a march of unity after the attacks last week, in Barcelona. Juan Medina/ Reuters
Spain's King Felipe (C), Prime Minister Mariano Rajoy (L) and Catalan regional president Carles Puigdemont (R) take part in a march of unity after the attacks last week, in Barcelona. Juan Medina/ Reuters

Spain’s King Felipe VI joined tens of thousands of people who marched through Barcelona on Saturday in protest at the recent terror attacks on the country.

Two attacks in the Catalonia region of Spain carried out by an extremist cell left 15 people dead and hundreds injured.

_______________

Read more:

Spotlight on Catalonia's independence vote as Spain grapples with terrorist attacks

Europe on alert after knife attacks in London and Brussels

_______________

Some people chanted "No tinc por" (Catalan for "I'm not afraid”) while others carried red, yellow and white flowers, which are the colours of Barcelona.

People hold signs and flags as they take part in a march of unity after the attacks last week. Albert Gea/ Reuters
People hold signs and flags as they take part in a march of unity after the attacks last week. Albert Gea/ Reuters

The red-and-yellow Catalan flag, marked with a white star, was waved by many, in a region which has been fighting for independence from Spain.

Both King Felipe and Prime Minister Mariano Rajoy, who walked alongside the monarch, were jeered at by Catalan separatists, who shouted “out”.

It is estimated by the police that half a million people joined the march, which was led by people who had tended to victims of the attack.

In attendance were emergency services, wearing their uniforms, as well as residents and shop owners who had rushed to help when a van ploughed into pedestrians on Las Ramblas.

Police officers hold roses given to them by people after a march of unity. Juan Medina/ Reuters
Police officers hold roses given to them by people after a march of unity. Juan Medina/ Reuters

Banners carried by those marching contained messages of peace and unity. One read "No to Islamophobia" and another read "The best response: Peace".

Saray Gomez, who works at a flower stall on Las Ramblas where the van stopped after killing 13 people, said it was important "to give a message of unity and peace."

"And it's important to distinguish between Islam and jihadists, because Muslims are the first to be affected."

Spain’s Islamic community participated in the procession, with women in hijabs standing alongside King Felipe and Spain’s political leaders.