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Thousands protest in Barcelona against Catalan separatism

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Thousands of people protest with Catalonian and Spanish flags against the independence movement and the regional government’s speraratist plans, in Barcelona, Spain, on Oct. 8, 2017. (Nicolas Carvalho Ochoa/dpa/Abaca Press/TNS)

BARCELONA, Spain — Thousands of people took to the streets of Barcelona Sunday in the name of Spanish unity, protesting Catalan separatism.

Local police estimated that at least 15,000 people took part in the demonstrations, according to newspaper El Pais.

The rally was the first event organized by the Tabarnia group, which criticizes the Catalan independence movement using humor and satire.

The Spanish central government intervened after an independence referendum Oct. 1, dissolving the regional parliament and calling new regional elections.

In the elections held Dec. 21, separatist parties again won a majority in the Spanish region.

The name Tabarnia is based on the first letter of the two cities in which the separatists didn’t get a majority of votes in the October referendum: Tarragona and Barcelona.

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