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Today, October 29, in Barcelona

When we opened the shades this morning there was activity on the plaza outside our windows. Crews seemed to be setting up for something. After the decision by the Spanish government to enact article 155 of their constitution, we waited for news of protests. We watched and wondered. We looked online, even, gasp, checking Twitter, ugh, and found nothing. Platforms for television crews, a stage, and barriers were set up. A parade route seemed to be established. Soon people came, more came, still more came, all draped in Spanish and Catalan flags. More, more, more, the noise built as we watched out our windows. Denis laughed, saying we didn’t realize that when we booked this centrally located place we’d have mezzanine seats for this pro-unity rally! I don’t know that either of us has ever seen this many people in one place in our lives. The chanting, the singing, the flags waving, the sheer energy, all so amazing. And that was with the windows securely closed. It seemed like things were to start officially about noon, so we opened the windows and got out the cameras. Viva España was sung over and over and over again. There were no riots, nothing negative, nothing that made us feel unsafe. We got hungry, so we thought we’d brave the crowds. Despite the sheer volume of people, we made our way out of the area and headed out for lunch. At the restaurant, well away from the crowds, the television was on, the network broadcasting live from the plaza here. It said that more than a million people participated in this completely peaceful demonstration. All law enforcement personnel we saw looked bored, markedly different from the day we read about earlier this month that had us considering cancelling Barcelona entirely. Amazing. When we returned to the rental about 4 pm, only the last few demonstrators remained, the street crews were busy cleaning things up, disassembly was in progress. I don’t think either of us will ever forget this day. Hopefully we got some good pictures as well.


Posted by
13297 posts

Thanks for the report. It is nice to hear about some good energy.

Posted by
2718 posts

300,000 according to Barcelona City Police. This is a typical thing in demonstrations, the fighting about the figures.

Posted by
159 posts

Thank you for posting. We will be in Barcelona in three weeks. We have no intention of changing our plans, but trying to stay aware of what’s going on there.

Posted by
9017 posts

OP --thank you for your on the ground first hand report