19/02/2021 – 14:38 Updated: 02/19/2021 – 15:39
About 300 people, most of them university students, have demonstrated this noon in Barcelona to demand the freedom of rapper Pablo Hasél and against what they have described as “the repressive rage against freedom of expression.”
Summoned by the Students’ Union of the Catalan Countries (SEPC), the protesters have marched peacefully through the center of Barcelona in a protest that started at 12 noon in Plaça Universitat and ended in Plaça Mercè, where the Rectorate of Pompeu Fabra University (UPF) is located.
The protest was headed by a banner with the slogan: “Universities for freedom. Amnesty and independence”, and throughout the demonstration slogans such as: “Esquerra i PDeCat, patience s’ha acabat” (Esquerra and PDeCat , patience is over).
The protesters have also demanded the release of the detainees in the protests of recent days, that the presence of the Police be prohibited on university campuses and the use of foam bullets.
They have also accused the State of “frontally attack basic rights and legal guarantees”, and the Government for “acting as an autonomous and repressive arm when it appears as a private accusation against young people who struggle to have a decent life.”
This morning, before the demonstration, some 50 university students have broken into the Rectorate of the University of Barcelona to ask for “a firm position and concrete measures by the rector in the face of repression,” they pointed out.
They accuse the Government of “acting as a repressive regional arm” of young people
The students, who have not been received by the governing bodies of the university, carried banners that read: “Rectors, accomplices, you will pay dearly” and “For freedom of expression. Students stand up”.
The Catalan Association of Public Universities (ACUP) assured last Wednesday that freedom of expression is threatened and this Friday the student union has criticized the entry of the Mossos into the University of Lleida, where Hasél was locked up before being detained by the Catalan police.
For this Friday, the SPEC has called a strike in the universities, although the monitoring cannot be quantified due to the pandemic situation, in addition to demonstrations in Barcelona and Lleida in the morning, and in Girona and Tarragona for this afternoon.