Violent protests have been underway in Catalonia after Spain's Supreme Court sentenced nine Catalan leaders to long prison sentences.

Many people in Catalonia have long sought independence from Spain to form a new European nation.

The protests broke out into riots on Tuesday when over 40,000 people took to the streets.

Spain's government said it would do whatever it takes to stop the violence and issued the statement that it "will act, if needed, with firmness, proportionality and unity."