Hundreds of thousands march for unity in ‘independent’ Catalonia

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PV International Desk : Hundreds of thousands of Spaniards rallied in Catalonia’s capital Barcelona Sunday, waving national and European flags and chanting “Viva Espana!” to denounce regional lawmakers’ vote to sever the region from Spain.

Protesters swarmed, singing and clapping, through Barcelona’s streets in a sea of red-and-yellow Spanish flags, brandishing placards reading “De Todos” (It belongs to all of us).

By lunchtime, police estimated some 300,000 anti-secessionists had flocked to the city centre, while organisers put the crowd count at 1.1 million.

Spain’s biggest political crisis in decades mounted on Friday when secessionists in the Catalan parliament voted to declare the wealthy northeastern region of some 7.5 million people an independent republic.

The central government reacted by temporarily stripping the region of its autonomy, declaring the dismissal of secessionist regional president Carles Puigdemont and his executive.