The Catalan separatist leader was detained while travelling through Germany on his way to Belgium. The arrest has angered many Catalans.
The protesters have decried the trial of 12 Catalan separatists, saying "self-determination is not a crime." Prosecutors have accused the separatists of "rising up in a violent and public manner," allegations they deny.
Nine of the 12 Catalan separatist leaders are facing charges of rebellion for their role in a failed independence bid in 2017. Former Catalan leader Carles Puigdemont, who led the campaign, is not among the defendants.
After a defeat on a budget vote, Spain's government is set to hold crisis talks. The government will announce on Friday whether that means early elections.
Thousands of supporters of Spain's right-wing opposition have rallied in Madrid to demand the resignation of Prime Minister Pedro Sanchez. Many are furious his government is negotiating with Catalonian separatists.
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