HUNDREDS OF protesters gathered in Edinburgh for an emergency rally in support of voters going to the polls in Catalonia.

Organisers estimated that over 1000 people gathered outside the Spanish Consulate in North Castle Street before marching to the European Commission building in Alva Steet to show solidarity with the Catalan voters.

Speakers from a range of political parties and movements spoke at the rally with Catalan voices among them.

“It was a fantastic demonstration of solidarity by people from across Scotland standing shoulder to shoulder, not just with the Catalans, but with democrats from across Europe who are appalled by Spanish state oppression,” said Jonathan Shafi, co-founder of the Radical Independence Campaign, organisers of the rally. “I would say there were over 1000 people there so it was a really good turnout.”

He said the protestors had marched to the EU Commission building to make the point that it was up to everyone in Europe “to demand action to uphold democracy in the face of violent state repression”.

“There has been violence with rubber bullets and elderly people being physically removed from polling stations,” said Shafi. “It’s reported that 338 are injured which is unforgiveable and a sad state of affairs.”

The rally yesterday followed one in Glasgow which saw hundreds of people turn out ahead of the independence vote yesterday.

The National:

Shafi said pictures of the Glasgow rally had been sent to contacts in Catalonia who had then shared them on social media.

“We’ve had hundreds of tweets and emails from people thanking us and saying how much it means to them,” he said, adding that yesterday’s protest was in tandem with the hundreds of Scots who had gone out to Catalonia over the weekend to act as neutral observers.

“People in Catalonia stood with people in Scotland on the question of independence but the depth and breadth of support for people in Catalonia exercising their right to vote has gone well beyond that of independence supporters here,” he said. “We are seeing a whole range of people who believe this kind of anti-democratic behaviour has to be opposed.”

No response was made to the protestors by the Spanish consulate but Shafi said the point had been made.

“There were so many demonstrators outside both buildings that it worked very well in terms of sending a message of solidarity,” he said.

The speakers included Stuart Fairweather, chairperson Dundee Trades Council, Sarah Glynn, Scottish Unemployed Workers’ Network, Deborah Keyembe, Human Rights lawyer, Ben Macpherson, SNP MSP, Callum Martin, Rise, Matt Dobson, Catalan student solidarity activist and Hugh Cullen, of the SSP.