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Tens of thousands of people march in Barcelona to support Spanish unity

Tens of thousands of people have taken to the streets of central Barcelona to express their support for unity in Spain and protest the separatist movement in the northeastern region of Catalonia.

Demonstrators on Sunday carried Spanish and Catalan flags. They held signs with the phrase “sick to death” in reference to their discontent with the secession movement.

Just a day before, pro-independence protests turned violent in the country’s worst political crisis in decades.

According to Barcelona’s urban police, about 80,000 people attended the rally organized by the Societat Civil Catalana, an organization gathering supporters of Spain’s unity.

The demonstrators chanted “That’s enough” and “The streets belong to everyone” to counter the separatist claim that “The streets will always be ours.”

One poster read in English, “We are Catalonians too, stop this madness!!”

Thousands of separatists clashed with police in central Barcelona on Saturday just hours after some 350,000 demonstrators held a peaceful march in the latest mass protest over the jailing of nine separatist leaders.

The day had started peacefully, with the city’s streets turned into a sea of flags as a tide of humanity flowed down the wide avenue running from the waterfront to the city’s towering Sagrada Familia basilica.

Also on Saturday, the vast majority of Catalonia’s almost 1,000 mayors urged authorities in Madrid to grant the region the right to determine its own future.