National Day (Fiesta Nacional de España) is an annual national public holiday in Spain on October 12. It commemorates when Christopher Columbus first set foot in the Americas in 1492. But this year the holiday was marred by street riots, including a full-blown food court melee.
Spanish Unionists argue that the Catalan region has no right to break away from the main Spanish government and form their own state-within-a-state. Catalan rebels say they have every right to vote their way out of Spain.
The groups squared off in heated debates which frequently got physical, in the run-up to last weekend’s vote. The results were declared null and void by Spain’s monarchy, after 92% voted in favor of Catalan becoming an independent republic.
The Spanish Constitution leaves no room for such a vote, and so it’s validity has been bitterly disputed.
In a show of Spanish patriotism, nationalist groups gathered on the National Day holiday in Barcelona to burn Catalan flags and harass secessionists.
Things got completely out of control at this large food court when metal chairs began flying in all directions. The melee carried on in the streets until the crowd was dispersed, but smaller pockets of fighting erupted throughout the day: