Barcelona boils over: Separatist protesters clash with police in violent scuffles (photos)

Spanish government holds highly provocative cabinet meeting in Catalan capital

Police dragged Catalan separatist protesters off highways on Friday as Spanish Prime Minister Pedro Sanchez began a cabinet meeting in the regional capital Barcelona in an attempt at reconciliation.

Pro-independence supporters called the protests to show their disgust at Spanish Prime Minister Pedro Sanchez’s decision to lead his weekly Cabinet meeting in Barcelona.

Dozens of protesters, some wearing high-visibility vests, sat on the AP 7 highway, which runs down the Mediterranean coast, hands held in the air as police in riot gear pulled them from the road.

One man was arrested in central Barcelona carrying materials that could be used to build an explosive device, the regional Mossos police force said on Twitter.

Around 40 roads were affected by the protests, local media said.

The Catalan regional government, led by a coalition of pro-secession parties, is also supporting the protests despite an agreement with central authorities to work on a solution to the political crisis that has festered since Catalonia’s failed secession attempt last year.

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