The Catalan Conflict, Explained By Women Fighting For Independence From Spain

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Protests continue to grip Spain's north-eastern region as more marches took over central Barcelona at the weekend.
Some 350,000 protesters rallied in Barcelona on Saturday marching against the conviction of nine Catalan politicians, turning the streets into a sea of Catalan independence flags following weeks of protests since the Supreme Court handed down its verdict on the 14th October. Spain's Supreme court acquitted nine Catalan separatist leaders of violent rebellion but convicted them of sedition (speech inciting people to rebel against a state), misuse of public funds and disobedience.
The pro-independent leaders received sentences of between nine and 13 years for their role in an independence referendum in 2017 which was declared illegal by the Spanish courts. All 12 have denied the charges. What has followed are some of the most violent clashes in the independence movement.
Despite protests remaining peaceful during most of on Saturday, a second crowd of around 10,000 formed around Barcelona's police headquarters in the evening where violence erupted between protesters and riot police. Bottles, rubber bullets and balls were thrown at officers. A unionist march took place on Sunday with around 800,000 protesters in attendance, according to police. Although the organisers, Societat Civil Catalania - a pro-unity umbrella group - put the number at 400,000.
The rally, which was organised by the ANC and Omnium Central, the region's biggest grassroots organisation, saw thousands of protesters gather around the city's Sagradia Familia basilica and at the waterfront. Protests have erupted in cities such as Barcelona, Lleida, Tarragona and Girona. Last week saw more than 500,000 protestors conduct a peaceful protest in Barcelona before violence and riots erupted at night.
Catalonia's independence is a highly divisive subject in the region, with polls in July showing 46.7% in favour and 44.9% against. Many Catalonians are seeking independence from Spain and have called for a second referendum vote following the failed attempt in 2017, when Madrid imposed a direct rule on the region shortly after. It is the country's biggest political crisis since democracy was restored in 1975, following the death of military dictator General Francisco Franco.
Quim Torra, the president of Spain's Catalonia region, called for the referendum vote to go ahead within the next two years. According to Spain's interior ministry, there have been calls on social media to "Turn Catalonia into the new Hong Kong." But the tone is a stark contrast to some of the young peaceful protesters in Catalonia who simply "want Spain to listen".
We spoke to some of the women who have been out protesting for their future and asked them what it meant to them.
Here's what they had to say...

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