PHOTOS: Protests paralyze Catalonia as marches head for Barcelona

Policemen run as a police van drives over a burning barricade during clashes between protestors and police in Barcelona, Spain, Wednesday, Oct. 16, 2019. (Photo: Bernat Armangue/AP)

BARCELONA, Spain — Catalonia and its riot-swept regional capital, Barcelona, were paralyzed Friday by a mix of strikes and marches as the northeastern Spanish region endured its fifth day of mass protests over the conviction of independence leaders.

More than 200 people have been arrested and scores injured since separatist sentiment swelled on Monday, when the Supreme Court sentenced to lengthy prison terms nine separatist politicians and activists. The nine had led a 2017 push for independence that triggered Spain's deepest political crisis in decades.

Demonstrations on Friday were mostly peaceful, but police in anti-riot gear clashed in the afternoon with young protesters hurling bottles, eggs and paint at the gates of the police headquarters in central Barcelona. That followed a calm student protest earlier in the day.

Paramedics attend a protestor during clashes with police in Barcelona, Spain, early Friday, Oct. 18, 2019. (Photo: Bernat Armangue/AP)

Spanish central authorities said that at least 57 flights into and out of the region were canceled for the day due to a general strike called by pro-independence unions.

Picketers also closed off to traffic the border with France across the Pyrenees and burned tires or blocked dozens of roads and highways across the northeastern region.

Commuter and long-distance train services were significantly reduced, and many shops and factories didn't open for business. Catalan authorities said that electricity consumption, a key indicator of industrial activity, was by noon 10.1% lower than at the same time the previous day.

Tourists also felt the turmoil. At least two large cruise operators diverted their ships to other ports, and those which had already docked in the port of Barcelona cancelled the passengers' excursions to the city. Architect Antoni Gaudí's modernist Sagrada Familia also closed its doors due to a protest blocking access to the basilica. (AP)

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Protesters march into the city on the fifth day of protests over the conviction of a dozen Catalan independence leaders in Barcelona, Spain, Friday, Oct. 18, 2019. (Photo: Manu Fernandez/AP)
Spanish police stand outside a police station surrounded of objects thrown by pro-independence demonstrators in Barcelona, Spain, Friday, Oct. 18, 2019. (Photo: Bernat Armangue/AP)
Protesters ride on tractors as they enter the city on the fifth day of protests over the conviction of a dozen Catalan independence leaders in Barcelona, Spain, Friday, Oct. 18, 2019. (Photo: Manu Fernandez/AP)
Pro-independence demonstrators march into the city on the fifth day of protests in Barcelona, Spain, Friday, Oct. 18, 2019. (Photo: Emilio Morenatti/AP)
Right wing pro-Spanish unity supporters light flares during a demonstration in Barcelona, Spain, Oct. 17, 2019. (Photo: Bernat Armangue/AP)
A protestor hurls a rock at police during clashes in Barcelona, Spain, Wednesday, Oct. 16, 2019. (Photo: Emilio Morenatti/AP)
A car catches fire next to a burning barricade during clashes between protestors and police in Barcelona, Spain, Wednesday, Oct. 16, 2019. (Photo: Bernat Armangue/AP)
Demonstrators throw paper toilet rolls into the air during a protests in Barcelona, Spain, Wednesday, Oct. 16, 2019. (Photo: Emilio Morenatti/AP)
Demonstrators walk along a highway in Girona, Spain, Wednesday, Oct. 16, 2019. Thousands of people have joined five large protest marches across Catalonia that are set to converge on Barcelona, as the restive region reels from two straight days of violent clashes between police and protesters. The marches set off from several Catalan towns and aimed to reach the Catalan capital by Friday. (Photo: Mar Grau/AP)
Protestors light a firecracker to throw at police during clashes in Barcelona, Spain, Wednesday, Oct. 16, 2019. (Photo: Emilio Morenatti/AP)
Firefighters and residents try to put out fires burning cars during clashes between protestors and police in Barcelona, Spain, Wednesday, Oct. 16, 2019. (Photo: Bernat Armangue/AP)
A policeman uses a fire extinguisher on a burning barricade during clashes with protestors in Barcelona, Spain, Tuesday, Oct. 15, 2019. (Photo: Emilio Morenatti/AP)
A journalist falls on the ground during clashes between protestors and police in Barcelona, Spain, Tuesday, Oct. 15, 2019. (Photo: Emilio Morenatti/AP)
A pro-independence Estelada flag is waved above demonstrators holding up their cellphones during a protest in Barcelona, Spain, Tuesday, Oct. 15, 2019. (Photo: Joan Mateu/AP)
A protester drags a chair next to a burning barricade during clashes with police in Barcelona, Spain, Tuesday, Oct. 15, 2019. Spain's Supreme Court on Monday convicted 12 former Catalan politicians and activists for their roles in a secession bid in 2017, a ruling that immediately inflamed independence supporters in the wealthy northeastern region. (Photo: Bernat Armangue/AP)
A protestors raises his fist at police across a burning barricade during clashes between protestors and police in Barcelona, Spain, Tuesday, Oct. 15, 2019. (Photo: Emilio Morenatti/AP)
Policemen in riot gear charge against protestors in Barcelona, Spain, Tuesday, Oct. 15, 2019. (Photo: Bernat Armangue/AP)
A man sets up upside down giant paintings of late Spanish dictator Francisco Franco, left, and Spanish King Felipe VI ahead of a protest by Basque pro-independence activists in support of Catalonia's independence movement following Spain's conviction of Catalan separatist leaders, in Bilbao, northern Spain, Tuesday, Oct. 15, 2019. (Photo: Alvaro Barrientos/AP)
Policemen in riot gear move past a burning barricade during clashes with protestors in Barcelona, Spain, Tuesday, Oct. 15, 2019. (Photo: Emilio Morenatti/AP)
Protesters throw cartons to a burning barricade during clashes with police in Barcelona, Spain, Tuesday, Oct. 15, 2019. (Photo: Bernat Armangue/AP)

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