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Tens of thousands march in Spanish unity protest

October 27, 2019

Spanish unity supporters are demonstrating in Barcelona. The demonstration comes after days of protests by Catalan separatists.

Spanish unity demonstrators in Barcelona
Image: Imago-Images/Agencia EFE/T. Albir

Tens of thousands of people marched through the streets of Barcelona on Sunday to protest the separatist movement in the northeastern Catalonia region that has produced Spain's worst political crisis in decades.

Barcelona's police said 80,000 people were rallying Sunday in one of the city's central areas, with many carrying Spanish and Catalan flags. Organizers said the number was closer to 400,000.

One poster read in English: "We are Catalonians, too, stop this madness!"

The rally in favor of Spanish unity comes after several days of mass protests by Catalan separatists, some of which escalated into violent clashes with police.

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The Catalan separatists are angered by an October 14 Supreme Court ruling that sentenced nine separatist leaders to prison for organizing an illegal independence referendum in 2017.

Sunday's rally was called by the Catalan Civil Society (SCC) association, which said it wanted to show that those opposing the region's secession from the rest of Spain comprised a "silent majority."

"That is an important message for Catalonia, Spain and the world," said SCC chairman Fernando Sanchez Costa.

Polls say the 7.5 million residents of the wealthy Catalonia region are roughly evenly divided on the secession question.

Messaging apps mobilize Catalan protesters

law/stb (AFP, AP, dpa)

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