PRO-INDEPENDENCE activists have created an “immense line of light” crossing the European continent to demonstrate for people's right to decide.

The column of light was formed by beacons which ran the length of the Pyrenees mountains, from Catalonia to the Basque Country, and organisers say it was the “largest artistic action of a political nature ever held in Europe”.

On Saturday night, thousands of activists from the two areas linked up in order to send a united message about their hopes for independence.

Beacons were lit along some 430km (around 270 miles) and atop 400 peaks in the Pyrenees mountain range, from Jaizkibel on the Atlantic Ocean to Cap de Creus on the Mediterranean.

The National:

Named “The Pyrenean Way”, activists hailed the light display as the “first citizen mobilization jointly organized by Basque and Catalan social entities” and the beginning of long-term collaboration.

Special 360-degree lights used by the activists could reportedly be seen as much as 40km away.

It was organised by Gure Esku (which means Our Hands in Basque), the Catalan National Assembly (ANC), Òmnium Cultural, Artistes per la República, and Federació d'Entitats Excursionistes de Catalunya (FECC).

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Amalur Álvarez (above), a spokesperson for Gure Esku, said: "By joining Basque and Catalan forces we have been able to illuminate the entire Pyrenees, and if we continue to cooperate and join forces, we will be able to advance our common goals.

"Once again, we are demonstrating the power of the people. Each light on the mountain is a star that illuminates the path to freedom and sovereignty of our peoples.”

Dolors Feliu, president of the ANC, said: "It is the largest artistic action of a political nature ever held in Europe. A poetic and political story that, intertwining activism and artistic creation, will endure in memory, a story that will become a great act of light in the midst of the darkness that now surrounds us.”

She added: “The repression is incessant. Our firm and peaceful combat is too. Whether it's taking to the streets, or, like today, climbing the mountains to defend our highest values.

“We demand the right to self-determination as an instrument to defend our national identity, and respect for our civil and political rights. And we do so because we know that only independence is the way to guarantee a free future for us.”

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Didac Amat, speaking on behalf of the 190,000 members of Òmnium Cultural, said the protest showed people’s “will to continue working together to build a Europe of the people, where the Spanish state has no alternative but to respect the right to self-determination of our people citizens”.

“A future, in short, where asking the public about their political future is not a crime but an act of democratic accountability,” he added.

Both Catalonia and the Basque Country have active political movements aiming for independence which have been blocked by the Spanish state.

The National: Activists tie Catalan and Basque flags to a pole at the Pyrenees eventActivists tie Catalan and Basque flags to a pole at the Pyrenees event

In 2017, a referendum held in Catalonia led to a police crackdown ordered by the Madrid government and saw nine pro-independence leaders handed jail terms for sedition.

In 2008, Spain’s Supreme Court blocked efforts to hold a consultative referendum in the Basque Country on issues linked to independence.

Former Catalan president Quim Torra, who has close ties to some of the organisations involved in the Pyrenean demonstration including the ANC and Òmnium Cultural, wrote to the First Minister in June to praise plans for a second Scottish independence referendum.

Torra said the vote would be “good news for democrats in Europe and around the world”.

He added: “I wish to express my support to you and, by extension, that of many Catalans, who still see the claim for freedom as an essential necessity for solving the daily problems of our citizens.”