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Tensions over removal of Catalan separatists' yellow ribbon symbol

Albert Rivera, leader of Ciudadanos, removes the plastic ties in Alella, Catalonia, on Wednesday.
Albert Rivera, leader of Ciudadanos, removes the plastic ties in Alella, Catalonia, on Wednesday. / EFE
  • There has been politicial support for a woman injured in Barcelona last weekend as organised groups work under cover of darkness

They are calling it the "War of the Yellow Ribbons", the increasingly high-profile attempts to remove the yellow ties that have been placed in an impromptu fashion in public places in Catalonia by those in favour of independence or against the imprisonment of pro-separatist leaders.

On Wednesday, prominent politician, Albert Rivera, national leader of centrist Ciudadanos, and his regional Catalan leader, Inés Arrimadas, were in the town of Alella, in Barcelona province, untying yellow plastic ties from street railings.

Pro-Spanish politicians have been calling for local people in Catalonia to take down the "divisive" symbols of separatism as the region prepares for its traditional annual festival later this month and the anniversary of the outlawed declaration of independence last October.

There are more signs tension is escalating. There were scuffles at a demonstration held in Barcelona on Wednesday in favour of a woman who was assaulted while trying to take down some ribbons last weekend. And some 80 people took to Catalan streets in the early hours of Tuesday with their faces covered to remove some of the symbols.