A joint police operation by forces either side of the border cleared protesters from the road as the blockade entered its second day.
“There are no more demonstrators on the highway,” a spokeswoman for the security department of the eastern French Pyrenees said, adding that no-one had been hurt and the motorway was expected to reopen on Tuesday afternoon.
A reported 19 people were arrested in total, one in Spain and 18 on the French side of the border.
As day broke on the second day of protest mobilised by Tsunami Democratic, the French police force took action to clear the busy border crossing where the AP7 joins France’s A9 dismantling a field kitchen set up by protesters.
Footage posted on Twitter shows the action when police moved in at 8am on Tuesday.
?Empieza el desalojo en la Jonquera con uso de gases lacrimógenos, ante gente que solo pide el derecho a la libertad pacificamente. pic.twitter.com/gIU6nVBCVu
— ?Viqui ? (@viquirepublica) November 12, 2019
— Alex Gubern (@alex_gubern) November 12, 2019
French police began the operation to clear the highway on the French side, firing canisters of tear gas to disperse the crowds who had camped out overnight and were singing protests songs around burning braziers.
The protest is the latest action against the sentencing last month of nine of Catalan separatist leaders to lengthy jail terms and was called to block traffic at the border over a three-day period ending Wednesday night.
“This mobilisation is a cry to the international community so that it makes the Spanish state understand that the only possible path is to sit down and talk,” Tsunami Democratic said in a message to its followers on encrypted messaging service Telegram.
Several hundred people had gathered there, setting up a stage, camp and kitchen.
Although police managed to reopen the AP-7 in the direction of France, protests were still causing flare ups and congestion on roads in the area, including the N-11.
⚫ El tall de l'N-II és ara d'un tram de 15 km, entre Llers i la Jonquera, en els dos sentits
ℹ Hi ha #retencions de Figueres a Llers ➡ França i del Pertús a la Jonquera ➡ Girona https://t.co/yA5UwJePg8
— Trànsit (@transit) November 12, 2019
Protesters hold up signs declaring “All To La Jonquera”. Photo: AFP