17:12 GMT +314 December 2019
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    Demonstrators wave European, Spanish and Catalan flags during a demonstration called by Sociedat Civil Catalana (Catalan Civil Society) to support the unity of Spain, at Catalonia square in Barcelona

    Thousands Rally in Barcelona Opposing Catalonia's Secession From Spain

    © AFP 2019 / JOSEP LAGO
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    Several thousand people gathered Sunday at St. Jaume square in the heart of both Barcelona and surrounding Catalonia, to protest against Catalonia gaining independence from Spain, media reported.

    MOSCOW (Sputnik) — The protesters carried placards reading "Long live Spain, long live Catalonia," "No to independence", "United Europe will never be defeated" or "We have voted, we failed," according to the ABC Barcelona broadcaster.

    The central square was dominated by the Spanish protesters, with many Catalan citizens as well, and the people from other EU countries were also present, according to the broadcaster.

    The protest was organized by the the Catalan Civil Society (CCS), a Catalan political association opposing to the regions's independence from Spain, and is striving to improve political relations with the rest of Spain and the European Union.

    Catalonia has long sought independence from Spain, but the Spanish government has repeatedly declined the region’s quest for independence, saying it would violate the country’s constitution.

    On November 9, the Parliament of Catalonia passed a resolution to begin the process of seceding from Spain. The initiative was backed by 72 votes in the 135-seat parliament.

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