PRO-INDEPENDENCE Catalan protestors and police were involved in tense scenes in Barcelona last night.
Thousands of marchers poured onto the streets to voice their anger at the arrest of 14 local government officials.
Some 40,000 people blocked off the entrance to the Catalan economy ministry, which had been raided earlier in the day.
The crisis comes ahead of a controversial planned independence referendum in the region on October 1.
Earlier on Wednesday, campaigners staged a sit-down protest in a stand-off with the Guardia Civil near the region’s local government buildings.
Spanish Prime Minister Mariano Rajoy has called for ‘a return to normality and common sense’.
But Barcelona mayor Ada Colau backed the protests, tweeting, ‘We welcome and celebrate the demonstrations in Barcelona, Catalunya and around Spain’.
Meanwhile, Catalans around the city took to a traditional form of protest, banging pans out of their apartment windows.