MOSCOW, September 11 (RIA Novosti) - Thousands of people took to the streets of Barcelona in support of the upcoming referendum on the independence of Catalonia, which is scheduled for November 9, Reuters reported Thursday.
About half a million Catalans held a peaceful demonstration on Thursday, dressed in red and yellow clothes adorned with national symbols. According to the event organizers, the march was planned in the shape of the letter V, and designed to mark the upcoming vote.
"We want a say in politics and our future. We've won back our sovereignty (by getting independence on the political agenda) and realized the strength we have, if we mobilize, to change things," head of the National Catalan Assembly (ANC), Carme Forcadell said.
The regional authorities do not rule out that the vote will take place not in the form of a referendum, but in the form of a nationwide survey, as Spain's Constitutional Court declared the referendum illegitimate. Earlier, Prime Minister Mariano Rajoy and other members of the government have also repeatedly stated that they will not recognize its results.
"What is going on today is not a challenge to the state; it is the clamor of a large part of Catalan society," said Artur Mas, head of the Catalan regional government, noting that if the people of Catalonia want to vote, then there is no stopping this process.
Tensions in Catalonia about secession from Spain have increased on the eve of a referendum on Scottish independence, which will be held on September 18. Earlier, Mas stated that the positive outcome of the referendum in Scotland would support a similar campaign in Catalonia, creating conditions for its international recognition and entry into the European Union. If the majority of people in Scotland in a referendum votes in favor of independence, then the region will withdraw from the UK on March 24, 2016.