Attempted occupation at airport was called by new group using an app to bring young people on to streets

Until this week, the images habitually projected by the Catalan independence movement were of its red, yellow and blue estelada flags and of the huge crowds that have gathered on the region’s national day over the past eight years to make earnest, enthusiastic – and fruitless – calls for a separate republic.

By Monday night, however, the pictures coming out of Barcelona and elsewhere had begun to tell a different story. Infuriated by the Spanish supreme court’s decision to jail nine pro-independence leaders over their roles in the failed push for secession two years ago, thousands of young Catalans marched on Barcelona-El Prat airport in an attempt to occupy it.

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