Flight chaos at Barcelona Airport after Catalan protesters clash with police

Flight chaos at Barcelona Airport after Catalan protesters clash with police

Large parts of Barcelona Airport were shut down this afternoon as pro Catalonian-independence protesters clashed with police.

Rail services were suspended earlier today as separatist protesters took to the streets following Spain's Supreme Court's sentencing of nine independence leaders.

Footage of the fiery clashes shows police in full riot gear kettling civilians, swinging batons at those that come within striking distance.

This morning the court sentenced nine Catalan separatist leaders to between nine and 13 years in prison for sedition.

They had been tried over their part in the northern Spain region's failed independence bid.

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Three others held over their alleged part in the October 2017 referendum and independence deceleration were found guilty only of disobedience.

They avoided jail time.

None of the 12 were found guilty of rebellion, the gravest charge levelled against them.

Not deterred by the lengthy prison terms stretching in front of them, the jailed political leaders urged their supporters to take to the streets.

A message posted on their behalf on social media said: "It's time to rise up against the authoritarian fascism of the Spanish state and its accomplices.

"It is time for the RevoltaPopular (popular revolt)."

Members of the public stepped up to the plate, blocking four main streets in Barcelona.

They chanted "freedom for political prisoners" and "we'll do it again".

The high-speed rail link between Barcelona and France was interrupted as was the regional train network due to protests in the separatist stronghold of Girona, where people stood on the tracks wrapped in pro-independence flags.

Numerous flights out of Barcelona Airport were significantly delayed.

Head of the regional parliament Roger Torrent said: "This sentence is an attack on democracy and the rights of all citizens.

"Today we are all convicted, not just 12 people."

The longest prison term – 13 years – was imposed on the Catalan goverment's former deputy leader, Oriol Junqueras.

The court convicted him and eight other leaders on charges of sedition and four of them of misuse of public funds.

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