Catalan Students March in Favor of Independence

Activists advocating for Catalan secession wave Catalonian independence flags as others sit on the railway tracks at the station in Girona, Spain, Monday Oct. 1, 2018. (AP Photo/Manu Fernandez)

GIRONA, Spain (AP) — Thousands of students are marching in downtown Barcelona to mark the anniversary of an independence referendum in Catalonia that was banned by Spanish authorities.

The college and high school students are walking peacefully behind a banner reading “We won’t forget, neither will we forgive” and shouting slogans in support of an independent Catalan republic.

People across Catalonia have also held a minute of silence at noon (1000 GMT; 6 a.m. EDT) to mark the anniversary and draw attention to the violence that police used to crush the vote, which had been banned by Spanish courts.

Separatist activists blocked roads and railway lines earlier on Monday. A group of them broke into the offices of the central government’s delegation in Girona and brought down Spain’s national flag.

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