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[infox] Situation in Barcelona - latest

Hi to all, this is a follow-up of a previous post https://community.ricksteves.com/travel-forum/spain/infox-situation-in-barcelona-october-2019 which I launched at the beginning (and the high) of the protests in October. Thank you for your praise and replies. I've decided to open up a new thread to clear the clutter of the previous one and make it easier to know "what's going on" at a glance.

The (political) climate in the confrontation between Catalonia and Spain has not changed a bit, but we're in a different phase of this conflict now. Demonstrations, blockades and other types of actions continue to be held, but at a different rate, not necessarily in such large numbers nor daily either, much like in Hong Kong, where on and off protests have been going on for many months now. This is not to say the conflict can't escalate without much warning as we don't know what other repressive actions will the Spanish government take next against Catalans and Catalan interests. The conflict is alive on several fronts, not only in the street. For the time being though, a large chunk of the Spanish paramilitary and police forces sent to Catalonia have returned to their barracks elsewhere in Spain. Still, remaining Spanish police troops in Catalonia continue to be at an all-time high.

The announced actions in the ongoing civil disobedience campaign are always NON-VIOLENT -on the protesters' side- and seek to paralyze the nation (Catalonia) to force a negotiation with the Spanish. These are mostly in the form of blockades, slow marches and demonstrations. Take into account some potential discomforts regarding mobility -so always have a plan B. There is no beef against any civilian, much less foreign civilians, so no one coming across them should really worry about personal safety. Having said that, stay away from large displays of anti-riot police and police vans as per the danger of violent charges, especially from the Spanish police and paramilitary.

Given these circumstances, I will continue to update this thread only when "significant" actions are to take place. Remember that, as I previously explained, these civil disobedience actions (blockades, marches, sit-ins, etc,) are announced with a relatively short space of time before they happen to avoid the Spanish government (and its police troops) preventing them. Therefore these coming updates will probably only be useful to you if you're arriving/departing around the days (of the update) or if you're already here in Catalonia on that date.

No posts on my side does not mean there are no ongoing smaller actions, I can't possibly know all the actions happening at any given time nor can I reply to everybody. Existence of smaller actions translates it that you might occasionally encounter a blocked road or street, a suspended train service, etc. hence the reason I recommend having a plan B for your activities during your stay. Think of it as an 'unforeseen', just adapt and move on. And please note many here are fighting for their rights and their future so be a sport and empathize when/if something 'comes' in between your plans.

Again, if you intend to visit some other time don't post questions asking details regarding this situation as no one can (seriously) predict how will this unfold nor what sort of direction will it take. It is not over by a long shot, and as some of the open fronts get closure (ie. whether the Spanish will be able to finally form a stable government or not, whether the European Justice Court will resolve in favour of the different appeals made by the political prisoners, whether the Spanish government will continue to repress freedom of speech and freedom of assembly, etc) we'll see new scenarios developing and new civil society responses. Just keep an eye on this thread and major reputable media outlets.

Thanks for reading!

Posted by
5 posts

Hello Enric. My daughter and her husband are heading to Barcelona in December and my husband and I are going in April so I really appreciate the time and care you take to update the information about the situation in Barcelona.

Posted by
83 posts

We've been in Barcelona visiting all the top tourist sights this week, the only protests we've seen were on TV and the largest, loudest group of people we encountered were just on their way to Camp Nou for a futbol match.
While the situation remains politically tense, it hasn't affected our trip yet and I am guessing will largely go unnoticed by travelers.
Thank you, Enric, for keeping us all informed! Barcelona is beautiful and I am so glad to be here!