Hundreds of activists waved Catalan flags and chanted pro-independence slogans as they marched in the West End of Edinburgh in support of the region’s controversial referendum on Sunday.
Demonstrators came from across the country to join in with the protests against the Spanish government outside the European Commission office on Alva Street.
City resident Monica Chamorro, 37, originally from Girona, just north of Barcelona, said she was “appalled” at the actions of the Spanish government, adding: “This morning I was just crying, people are going to vote and they are met with force. We will accept the vote for yes, we will accept the vote for no, but we have to have the right to cast our vote.”
“That is why we have come here to show our support with what is happening back home, to show that we want democracy, that is what we stand for.”
Andrew McCourt, 45, travelled from Wishaw to join the protests and described the situation in Catalonia as “ridiculous”.
He said: “There’s a swell of support here from Scotland towards Catalonia, because what’s happening there is just disgusting. It just goes to show Spain rules with an iron fist. The Catalans deserve their right to choose and we support that right.”
Cancer research scientist Ainara Gonzalez, 32, who is originally from Pamplona in the Basque Country, said Catalonia was “out of control,” adding: “The Catalan people want to exercise their right to vote. The Spanish government say this is an illegal referendum, that it is unconstitutional, but they changed the constitution overnight to cede sovereignty to the European Central Bank and the IMF - it wasn’t so iron-clad then. “
“If it had gone like here, where the UK government said they could have the vote, both sides campaign and then you get a result at the end of it, that would be fine. But it has just gone out of control.”
Malcolm Brown, 66, added: “To see that region, such a beautiful part of the world, in such turmoil, it disgusts me really.”
“There is a genuine connection between the Scots and the Catalan people and we want them to know we are supporting their right to vote and we will continue to do so until a peaceful solution is found.”