Hundreds of thousands of people rallied in central Barcelona on Sunday in opposition to any declaration of independence from Spain, waving banners that said “I am Spanish,” “Catalonia is Spain,” and “Together we are stronger.”
The rally, designed to defend the unity of Spain, was organized by the Catalan Civil Society (SCC) group, with the slogan‘Let’s recover our common sense!’
“Everyone has the right to say their opinion. [Until] today I had the impression that [people] who were against independence couldn’t speak. Today is a great day when everyone in Catalonia can speak,” a French woman living in Barcelona told RT.
When asked about the federal police presence in the region, the woman justified the measure saying that “we can’t forget that Catalonia is still Spain.”
Wrapped in a Spanish flag, another local believes Prime Minister Rajoy should follow the rules and exercise his powers.“He is in charge of our government, he must do something. He must remove some powers from autonomic government, because they’re not following the rules.”
Others saw the Sunday gathering as an opportunity for the Catalans to go out to the streets and say “We’re Spanish as well. You’re not touching our Catalonia, because Catalonia is for everyone and Spain is for everyone.”
“People of peace that are here, we don’t want war, we don’t want conflict with Catalonia. This is our flag, and Catalonia’s is our flag,” the man says, wrapped in the red and yellow Spanish flag. “Viva Espana! Viva Catalonia!” the man called out, as the crowd cheered and joined in his chant.