A general strike in Spain Wednesday to protest the jailing of former Catalan officials — including leader Carles Puigdemont — failed to gain traction.
As many as 60 roads were blocked by protestors in Catalonia, causing heavy traffic jams and delays in main access routes in Barcelona.
The strike, called by the smaller Intersindical-CSC union, doesn’t have the backing of two of Spain’s largest general worker unions — the CCOO and the UGT. Together, they make up 85 percent of all union members in Catalonia.
About 500 people stood on train tracks at a station in Girona, which houses the high-speed train link between Barcelona and France. About 85 percent of Metro services in Barcelona ran despite protests. Bus services, for the most part, were running a normal schedule.
More in the education and public broadcasting centers took part in the strikes, with around half of Catalonia’s schools and universities reported closed.
Operations in Barcelona’s high-traffic port area, other major industrial areas and most stores and restaurants were also open — highlighting an overall lower level of support than prior pro-independence strikes.
The Mossos D’Esquadra, the region’s local police force, was tasked with physically removing protesters from roads.
A poll conducted by the Center for Sociology Research last month showed nearly 30 percent of respondents identified Catalonia’s bid for independence as the second most pressing issue — behind unemployment, which is at 66 percent.
In surveys before June, Catalonian secession never ranked anywhere above 2 percent.
Catalonia’s pro-independence referendum vote ultimately led to Madrid taking control and placing the region’s ousted leaders in pre-trial custody on charges of sedition and misusing public funds.
By Sara Shayanian