Spanish-unity supporters demonstrate in Barcelona

Hundreds of thousands of Spaniards rallied in Catalonia’s capital Barcelona Sunday, waving national and European flags and chanting “Viva Espana!” to denounce regional lawmakers’ vote to sever the region from Spain.

Crowds of protesters swarmed, singing and clapping, through Barcelona’s streets in a sea of red-and-yellow Spanish flags, brandishing placards reading “De Todos” (It belongs to all of us).

Municipal police said the crowd numbered about 300,000 while organizers said 1.3 million turned out and the central government’s representative in Catalonia put the figure at one million.

Spain’s biggest political crisis in decades mounted on Friday when secessionists in the Catalan parliament voted to declare the wealthy northeastern region of some 7.5 million people an independent republic.

The central government of Prime Minister Mariano Rajoy reacted swiftly by temporarily stripping the region of its autonomy and declaring the dismissal of regional president Carles Puigdemont and his executive. (AFP)

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Spanish-unity supporters demonstrate in Barcelona

A nationalist activist waves a Spanish flag in front of a giant Catalan flag during a mass rally against Catalonia’s declaration of independence, in Barcelona, Spain, Sunday, Oct. 29, 2017. Thousands of opponents of independence for Catalonia are holding the rally on one of the city’s main avenues after one of the country’s most tumultuous days in decades. (Photo: Gonzalo Arroyo/AP)

Spanish-unity supporters demonstrate in Barcelona

Thousands of pro-unity protesters gather in Barcelona, two days after the Catalan parliament voted to split from Spain on Oct. 29, 2017 in Barcelona, Spain. The Spanish government has responded by imposing direct rule and dissolving the Catalan parliament. (Photo: Jeff J. Mitchell/Getty Images)

Spanish-unity supporters demonstrate in Barcelona

Pro-unity supporters take part in a demonstration in central Barcelona, Spain, Oct. 29, 2017. (Photo: Yves Herman/Reuters)

Spanish-unity supporters demonstrate in Barcelona

Protesters draped in Spanish flags run under a giant Catalan flag during a pro-unity demonstration on Oct. 29, 2017 in Barcelona, Spain. (Photo: Jack Taylor/Getty Images)

Spanish-unity supporters demonstrate in Barcelona

Protesters wave Spanish flags and carry banners during a pro-unity demonstration on Oct. 29, 2017 in Barcelona, Spain. (Photo: Jack Taylor/Getty Images)

Spanish-unity supporters demonstrate in Barcelona

Thousands of pro-unity protesters gather in Barcelona, two days after the Catalan parliament voted to split from Spain on Oct. 29, 2017 in Barcelona, Spain. (Photo: Jeff J. Mitchell/Getty Images)

Spanish-unity supporters demonstrate in Barcelona

Pro-unity supporters take part in a demonstration in central Barcelona, Spain, Oct. 29, 2017. (Photo: Jon Nazca/Reuters)

Spanish-unity supporters demonstrate in Barcelona

People wave Spanish flags from a balcony during a mass rally against Catalonia’s declaration of independence, in Barcelona, Spain, Sunday, Oct. 29, 2017. (Photo: Gonzalo Arroyo/AP)

Spanish-unity supporters demonstrate in Barcelona

Protesters wave Spanish and Catalan Senyera flags during a pro-unity demonstration in Barcelona on Oct.29, 2017. (Photo: Pierre-Philippe Marcou/AFP/Getty Images)

Spanish-unity supporters demonstrate in Barcelona

Thousands of pro-unity protesters gather in Barcelona, two days after the Catalan parliament voted to split from Spain on Oct. 29, 2017 in Barcelona, Spain. (Photo: Jeff J. Mitchell/Getty Images)

Spanish-unity supporters demonstrate in Barcelona

A demonstrator holds a placard bearing a crossed-out portrait of Catalan regional leader Carles Puigdemont, who was officially ousted by Madrid, reading “Dictators out” as others wave Spanish and Catalan Senyera flags during a pro-unity demonstration in Barcelona on Oct. 29, 2017. (Photo: Lluis Gene/AFP/Getty Images)

Spanish-unity supporters demonstrate in Barcelona

A man prepares a Spanish flag before taking part on a rally against Catalonia’s declaration of independence, in Barcelona, Spain, Sunday, Oct. 29, 2017. (Photo: Gonzalo Arroyo/AP)

Spanish-unity supporters demonstrate in Barcelona

People wave Spanish flags during a pro-unity demonstration in Barcelona on Oct. 29, 2017. (Photo: Lluis Gene/AFP/Getty Images)

Spanish-unity supporters demonstrate in Barcelona

Men perform a bullfighting game outside the Palau Generalitat after a mass rally against Catalonia’s declaration of independence, in Barcelona, Spain, Sunday, Oct. 29, 2017. (Photo: Santi Palacios/AP)

Spanish-unity supporters demonstrate in Barcelona

Nationalist activists march during a mass rally against Catalonia’s declaration of independence, in Barcelona, Spain, Sunday, Oct. 29, 2017. (Photo: Emilio Morenatti/AP)

Spanish-unity supporters demonstrate in Barcelona

Pro Spain union demonstrators from the city of Reus dance Rumba Catalana music after a rally against Catalonia’s declaration of independence, in Barcelona, Spain, Sunday, Oct. 29, 2017. (Photo: Gonzalo Arroyo/AP)

Spanish-unity supporters demonstrate in Barcelona

A youth draped in a Spanish flag puts flag stickers on a Caixabank building before a mass rally against Catalonia’s declaration of independence, in Barcelona, Spain, Sunday, Oct. 29, 2017. (Photo: Gonzalo Arroyo/AP)

Spanish-unity supporters demonstrate in Barcelona

A woman with the Senera and Spanish flags painted on her face shouts slogans as she takes part in a rally against Catalonia’s declaration of independence, in Barcelona, Spain, Sunday, Oct. 29, 2017. (Photo: Gonzalo Arroyo/AP)

Spanish-unity supporters demonstrate in Barcelona

Anti-independence supporters shout slogans and wave Spanish flags as they march against the unilateral declaration of independence approved earlier by the Catalan parliament in downtown Barcelona Friday, Oct. 27, 2017. (Photo: Francisco Seco/AP)

Spanish-unity supporters demonstrate in Barcelona

A pro unity demonstrator is stopped by Catalan Regional Police officer during a protest after the Catalan regional parliament declared independence from Spain in Barcelona, Spain, Oct. 27, 2017. (Photo: Albert Gea/Reuters)

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