BARCELONA, Spain (AP) — The Latest on the anti-violence rally in Barcelona (all times local):
A street-wide white banner with black letters reading “No Tinc Por” —”I’m not afraid” in Catalan— is making its way down one of Barcelona’s main street in a massive march against violence.
Emergency workers, taxis drivers, police, firefighters, business owners and ordinary citizens who helped immediately after the deadly attacks on Aug. 17-18 are leading the march for peace on Saturday.
Spain’s central, regional and local authorities are trying to send an image of unity by walking behind the emergency workers. In a first for a Spanish monarch, King Felipe VI has joined a public demonstration.
Still, some citizens are whistling their displeasure as authorities pass by and banners are criticizing the king’s role in promoting military exports to Saudi Arabia.
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Barcelona Mayor Ada Colau says people must “overflow” the streets of the city in a march aimed at showing a “brave” and “diverse” response to violence.
A tweet sent Saturday by Barcelona city hall declared “we are an open, welcoming city of peace. Today we take to the streets again with the cry ‘I’m not afraid.'”
The violent attacks last week by an extremist Islamic cell hit Barcelona’s cultural heart and the nearby coastal town of Cambrils. Ten of 15 people who were killed were foreigners — and another 120 people were injured.
Barcelona is under tight security Saturday. Authorities have asked people use public transportation for the march.
Hundreds of volunteers are handing out roses from the local florists’ association — 50,000 of them red, 10,000 yellow and 10,000 white — the colors in the city’s seal.
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Thousands of people are expected to flood the streets of Barcelona to reject violence after the deadly attacks on Aug. 17-18 that killed 15 people and wounded over 120.
The Islamic State group claimed the attacks in Barcelona and Cambrils that used vehicles and knives, Spain’s deadliest in more than a decade. Eight suspects are dead, two are jailed under preliminary charges and two more remain under investigation.
The slogan of the march — “I’m not afraid” in the local Catalan language— has grown from a spontaneous civic answer to the violence into a slogan that the government and Spain’s political class have unanimously embraced.
Taxi drivers, emergency workers and ordinary citizens who helped the wounded are leading the march, followed by King Felipe VI, Prime Minister Mariano Rajoy and other officials.