If reports that 700,000 came out in Barcelona are accurate, then Spain in its current borders is likely done for.
This is about as high a percentage of the Barcelona metropolitan area’s 5.4 million as the 500,000 Ukrainians who came out at the height of Euromaidan in the 3.3 million Kiev conglomerate area – and the latter drew from a country of 45 million versus less than 8 million Catalans.
For comparison, the largest of the protests that “shook the Kremlin” during the 2011-12 election season garnered about 100,000 people in a city of well more than 10 million.
I am not writing Spain off entirely. But Madrid’s challenges going ahead are huge.
Around 51% of the all Catalan voters expressed their desire for independence in the recent referendum. After the police violence, and the hardline response of Rajoy and now the King – in itself yet more evidence that Madrid has settled for a police response – this will have surely jumped by another 10% to 20% points.
Good luck trying to arrest the Catalan government under these conditions once they declare independence in a few days. It’s not going to be pretty.