Thousands rally in Barcelona against Catalonia’s secession

Thousands of people were rallying in downtown Barcelona to protest the Catalan government’s push for secession from the rest of Spain.

Many in the crowd gathered in a central square carried Spanish and Catalan flags. Some chanted “Don’t be fooled, Catalonia is Spain” and called for Catalan president Carles Puigdemont to go to prison.

Sunday’s rally comes a week after Puigdemont and other separatist leaders of the Catalan government held a referendum on secession that Spain’s top court had suspended and the Spanish government said was illegal.

The “Yes” side won the referendum with 90 percent of the vote, though less than half of the region’s electorate voted. Puigdemont has pledged to push ahead for independence anyway and is set to address the regional parliament on Tuesday “to report on the current political situation.”

Spanish Prime Minister Mariano Rajoy vows that his government will not allow Catalonia to break away from the rest of the country.

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