HUMAN rights are the focus in Catalonia as a one-day general strike is expected to attract thousands of protesters at demonstrations throughout the capital Barcelona.

The strike has been called by the pro-independence grassroots group the Catalan National Assembly (ANC), which said: “We live in a context of alarming regression of freedoms that affects us all.”

It added that the trial of Catalan politicians and activists over the October 2017 referendum (1-O) has put the people’s right to self-determination on trial.

The ANC said: “To make the general strike even more effective and clear, we also encourage you to make a consumer strike.

“Do not turn on lights … be sure of not having to go shopping or having to take cash at ATMs all day long.”

The Catalan government will suspend all public activity by the president and ministers during the strike, said Miquel Buch, the interior minister. He said: “The government respects the Catalan people’s right to strike and this specific instance is more sensitive due to the reasons behind it.”

He added that the interior and labour departments would continue working today to monitor the strike and its effect.

Gatherings are planned in Barcelona with a march to the city’s Gran Via.