The protest outside the court on Monday. | Teresa Ayuga

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While most attention on Monday morning was on the start of the Cursach case mega-trial, the Provincial Court in Palma did have other business to attend to.

This was the hearing for twelve people who, in July 2017, let off flares and threw confetti on Palma's Moll Vell. Members of the pro-independence youth organisation Arran, they face a total of 29 years in prison.

Some thirty people staged a protest outside the court in support of the defendants, who are charged with public disorder offences. A restaurant on the pier was particularly affected by the demonstration.

Blanca Dolores, a representative of a group called Alerta Solidària, said that only three of the twelve were at the scene of the Moll Vell demonstration. "The database that the police have used to identify them is from a file of social movements. This shows that they want to criminalise any form of struggle against the Spanish capitalist system."

The spokesperson for Arran Palma, Climent Tortella said: "The political project of the pro-independence left is being judged today. This proposes an alternative to the capitalist system and that is what worries them."

Among those who took part in the protest outside the court were two representatives of Més - Neus Truyol, the Palma councillor for the model of the city, and Joan Mas, who is a member of the Balearic parliament. A banner read: "Throwing confetti is expensive. 29 years in prison for defending ourselves from tourism."

The demonstration in 2017 was taken to have mainly been anti-tourism.