FLIP FRANSSEN

Catalans walk from Waterloo to Brussels in “March of Freedom”

Around 120 Catalan nationalist walked the around 17 kilometres from the Walloon Brabant town of Waterloo to the centre of Brussels on Sunday in what they called a “March for Freedom”. They set off from outside the villa where the former Catalan First Minister Carles Puigdemont is currently living at around 9:45am. Mr Puidgemont is currently the subject of a European arrest warrant issued by the Spanish Judicial Authorities. 

After having assembled outside what they have dubbed the “Casa de la República” (The House of the Republic), Mr Puidgemont’s rented house, in the well-to-do Walloon Brabant town at around, the marchers set off for Brussels three-quarters of an hour later.

They passed through Sint-Genesius-Rode (Flemish Brabant) and Ukkel (Brussels-Capital Region) before entering the City of Brussels via the Terkamerenbos Park. They arrived outside Brussels Central Station, where they met up with other demonstration at around 1pm. The Catalans’ demonstration is in protest at the prison sentence given by a Spanish court to Catalan separatist leaders for their part in the organisation of the 2017 independence referendum.       

Spain accuses Carles Puigdemont of sedation and misuse of public funds and has issued a European warrant for his arrest. The Belgian Judicial Authorities have released Mr Puigdemont on conditional bail awaiting a hearing on his eventual extradition to Spain on 29 October.