About 2,000 protesters wielding Spanish republican flags and pro-independence symbols banged kitchen pots and blocked access to a Barcelona venue where the Spanish royal family was attending an awards ceremony, Monday, November 4.

Some of the guests at the Princess of Girona Awards for young talent were unable to enter the conference center on time. Surrounded by police in anti-riot gear, the protesters chanted "Go Away!" and burned pictures of the Spanish monarch.

Speaking during his visit to the northeastern region, King Felipe VI said violence and the disparaging of others have no place in the dispute over Catalonia's independence.

Monday's royal visit was the first since the imprisonment of nine politicians and activists who led the 2017 drive for secession, a ruling that has been met with massive protests this month that have turned unusually violent at times.

Roughly half of the people of Catalonia are in favor of seceding from Spain, according to official surveys and recent election results. The issue will dominate the country's general election on Sunday, when voters elect lawmakers to the next parliament, which will in turn choose Spain's next prime minister. (AP)

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