Nov. 12: 8:06 a.m. EST | Warning Alert
Pro-independence activists call for roadblock protest on AP-8 highway at Irun, Spain, Nov. 12. Disruptions ongoing on AP-7.

 

The locations affected by this alert are:

  • Barcelona
  • Bilbao
  • Bayonne
  • Perpignan
Click above image to access interactive map.

This alert began 12 Nov 2019 13:00 GMT and is scheduled to expire 13 Nov 2019 23:59 GMT.

  • Incident: Roadblock protest
  • Location: AP-7 Highway, La Jonquera; AP-8 Highway, Irun, Spain/France border
  • Date: Nov. 12
  • Impact: Transport disruptions, clashes likely

 

Summary

Spanish and French authorities have almost dismantled the roadblock on the AP-7 Highway between La Jonquera and the French border as of around 1200 Nov. 12, though traffic flow on this route is not expected to return to normal for many hours while officials remove barricades. Tsunami Democratic called on participants to block the parallel N-2 highway in response to their eviction; local reports suggest officials have now also cleared this route. Organizers have called for a gathering outside La Jonquera Sports Center at 1300; sporadic disruption is likely in this area through Nov. 13.

Tsunami Democratic has also called for a go-slow protest beginning at 1800 on the AP-8 highway in the Basque Country region of Spain, between Irun and the border with France, and possibly extending around 8 km (5 miles) into France. As organizers have announced this action in advance, authorities will likely deploy increased security measures in the area to try and prevent protesters from taking part. Nonetheless, significant transport disruption is likely on the AP-8 highway for the duration of the protest, including temporary closures of the border crossing. Organizers have not stated how long they intend to sustain this action.

A significantly increased police presence has been deployed on the Spanish and French sides of the border at La Jonquera, and authorities will enact similar measures at Irun the evening of Nov. 12. Authorities are likely to use tear gas to clear any protesters and may resort to further riot control measures including rubber bullets and baton charges. While bystanders are unlikely to be targeted, they would face a significant indirect physical threat.


 

Background and Analysis

Tsunami Democratic is a pro-Catalonian independence group that began to coordinate protests in response to the Spanish Supreme Court's sentencing of nine Catalan separatist leaders Oct. 14. The group stated its intention to conduct three days of non-violent protest Nov. 11-13, with actions being communicated to participants at short notice to confound security forces.

Previously, all protests by the group have been contained within the Catalonia region of Spain. The announcement of protests in the Basque Country region marks a shift in their action from focusing on Catalonian independence issues to additional Spanish regions with separatist movements. While most civil unrest is likely to remain centered in Catalonia, this means that related independence protests could take place in the Basque Country or Galicia.


 

Advice

Avoid the protest as a routine security precaution and to mitigate associated disruptions. Allow additional time for travel and consider alternative routes if planning to drive or route freight through the affected area. Check traffic conditions before beginning journeys; anticipate possible supply chain disruptions.