Violent protests over rapper's arrest and accusations of police brutality rock Catalonia for fifth day

Protesters face off against a line of riot policeman in Barcelona during clashes on the fifth night of violent demonstrations condemning the arrest of rap artist Pablo Hasel

(CNN)Angry protesters have now gathered in multiple Spanish cities for five consecutive nights, demonstrating over the dramatic arrest of rapper Pablo Hasel earlier in the week.

Thousands gathered in Barcelona on Saturday, including families and elderly protesters at the city's Plaça Universitat, where a rally began peacefully.
After passing another square, called Plaça Urquinaona, police began beating protesters, Berta Galofré Pons, a 23-year-old political scientist, told CNN. Footage from the Barcelona protests on Saturday shows multiple scuffles between demonstrators and police.
    Mossos d'Esquadra -- the Catalan police force -- said in a tweet that they rerouted the protests and that a group of demonstrators split from the main crowd, attacking the Barcelona stock exchange before vandalizing and looting shops.
    This group burned motorcycles and erected barricades before firefighters arrived on the scene, said officers.
    Mossos arrested 34 people on Saturday, taking the total for the week close to 100.
    Hasel himself was detained on Tuesday after Catalan riot police stormed Lledia University, near Barcelona, where the rapper and his supporters had barricaded themselves in.
    Video from the arrest shows the defiant rapper shouting: "You will never defeat us! You will never overcome us, we will resist until we are victorious."
    The rapper Pablo Hasél is arrested by police officers at the University of Lleida on Tuesday
    Hasel had until February 12 to hand himself in to police after Spain's Supreme Court in May 2020 upheld a lower court's conviction in March 2018 against the rapper, whose full name is Pablo Rivadulla Duro.
    The conviction was for supporting terrorism, and also for libel and slander against the Spanish monarchy, through his social media messages, according to a copy of the court's sentence and a Supreme Court press office statement. He was sentenced to nine months in jail.
    The Spanish government announced last week that it would remove prison terms for offenses involving freedom of expression, however it is not clear when the changes will be made.