Fri May 12, 2017 6:39AM
University students protest during a demonstration in Barcelona, Spain. (File photo)
University students protest during a demonstration in Barcelona, Spain. (File photo)
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More than 1,000 students have rallied and staged a sit-in in Barcelona, the capital of Spain’s Catalonia region, to demand a reduction in university tuition fees.

The students on Thursday first marched on the roads leading to the Secretariat of Catalonian Universities in Barcelona and later staged a sit-in on the streets, blocking traffic.

Police were deployed to disperse the students, who were eventually removed from the scene of the protests by force.

Catalonia is a rich and highly-industrialized region with its own language and customs and has long been calling for outright independence from Spain.

In recent years, there has been an increased push for the region to leave Spain, with a call for a binding referendum this year.

The Spanish government, which strongly opposes any referendum of independence, calls it an unconstitutional vote.