An estimated 350,000 people took to the streets of Barcelona today (Sunday) to rally against Catalan independence from Spain, waving both Spanish and Catalan flags while shouting, “Don’t be fooled, Catalonia is Spain” and calling for the Catalan President’s imprisonment.

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Hundreds of thousands of people took to the streets of Barcelona today to demonstrate against the Catalan independence movement in Spain. Demonstrators carried Spanish and Catalonian flags yelling slogans such as “Don’t be fooled, Catalonia is Spain,” further illustrating the split within the Catalan population regarding the question of independence.

The huge rally in the center of Barcelona took place today (Sunday) after Spanish Prime Minister Mariano Rajoy said on Saturday that he does not rule out the possibility of dissolving the Catalan government and holding new elections in the province. The prime minister also threatened to cancel the province’s autonomous status.

“Catalania is Spain” Photo Credit: Sky News/Channel 2 News

“We feel both Spanish and Catalan,” said Arcelli Ponza, a 72-year-old woman who joined the demonstration, adding that they want their voice to be heard as they wait to see what happens between the two governments this coming week.

Hundreds of thousands wave Spanish and Catalan flags

Hundreds of thousands wave Spanish and Catalan flags Photo Credit: SkyNews/Channel 2 News

As previously reported by JOL, tens of thousands of Spaniards flooded the streets of Madrid and Barcelona yesterday (Saturday) in parallel demonstrations against the background of the tension surrounding the Catalan referendum for independence. Demonstrators in the capital Madrid raised Spanish flags and called for preserving the unity of the state. On the other hand, demonstrators in Barcelona, ​​the capital of Catalonia, dressed in white and called for dialogue in an attempt to resolve the crisis peacefully.

Violent clashes between Spanish police and voters last Sunday

Violent clashes between Spanish police and voters last Sunday Photo Credit: Sky News/Channel 2 News

Before yesterday’s demonstrations, the leadership in Catalonia called for a “ceasefire” with the central government in Madrid in an attempt to lower the flames ignited last week. Catalan President Carles Puigdemont and Santi Vila, Catalonia’s regional business minister, are in favor of dialogue. “We have to give it one more chance, maybe the final chance, and perhaps the only way that can occur is to start with a ceasefire,” Vila said in an interview with a Catalan radio show. “We can all calm down and give ourselves the chance to not take any decisions and see what channels we can open up to start a calm dialogue.”

Last Sunday, Rajoy sent thousands of police officers to stop the controversial and illegal vote. Very quickly clashes erupted with the voters and the severe violence led to many condemnations for which the government in Madrid apologized on Saturday.