1. Main
  2. Learn
  3. Incidents
  4. Unrest

1.4 mn people at Catalan independence demo: city police

1.4 mn people at Catalan independence demo: city police 1.4 mn people at Catalan independence demo: city police

Some 1.4 million people on Friday joined a march demanding independence for the Catalonia region from Spain, Barcelona city police said, AFP reports.

Officials published the figure on Twitter after the demonstration, which marked the start of campaigning for a September 27 regional election billed by Catalan leaders as an indirect vote on independence.

Waving red and yellow Catalan flags, they marched down a major road into the city, yelling "Independence!" while some formed human pyramids -- a Catalan folk tradition.

The show of force on Catalan national day came at a time of high political tensions, some three months ahead of a general election in Spain, the eurozone's fourth-biggest economy.

The city police force, which is controlled by city hall, estimated turnout at 1.4 million.

State officials and other authorities did not immediately release their own estimates for turnout in Barcelona, capital of this region which counts 7.5 million inhabitants.

Before the rally, organisers had said 500,000 people had signed up to take part.

At last year's Catalan national day demo, Spanish state officials and local authorities gave wildly different turnout figures for the politically-sensitive rally.

Polls this week showed pro-secession candidates could win a majority of seats in the Catalan parliament during this month's vote. 

If they win, Catalan president Artur Mas has vowed to push through an 18-month roadmap to secession for the region, which accounts for a fifth of Spain's economy.


Nobel prizewinner proposes a new city in KZ
New abnormal snowfalls expected in Kazakhstan
Huge glacier retreat triggered in 1940s
Hyperloop construction begins in Las Vegas
"Moonlight" to top Spirit Awards nominations
Oil prices fall due to investors uncertainty
New dwarf galaxy discovered around Milky Way
Kanat Islam becomes a top ten WBO boxer
World oil prices continue to rise
Kazakhstan expects warming - Kazhydromet
Merkel to seek fourth term as chancellor
Sale of Tintin drawings set to break records
US, EU stocks fall as markets focus on dollar
Pacific leaders urged to defend free trade
EU warns eight nations on budget deficit
Universiade-2017: Athletic Village is ready
Bob Dylan can't make Nobel ceremony
Messi will never leave Barca - club president
Google, Facebook take aim at 'fake' news
Aerosmith announces Europe 'farewell' tour
Putin, Trump to normalise US-Russia ties
At least 10 hurt in southern Turkey blast
6.2 quake hits western Japan
OPEC agrees shock oil output cut
Israeli ex-president and Nobel laureate Peres dies
Germany blocks WhatsApp data transfers to Facebook
32,000 arrested in Turkey coup probe
Youth to the fore as Milan fashion week opens
Xenophobia threatening peace in eastern Germany
Four-in-10 Japanese are virgins: poll
Sweden re-militarises Baltic island of Gotland
China to launch second space laboratory: Xinhua
More than a billion stars mapped in Milky Way: ESA
Boxing: Golovkin eyes Saunders after stopping Brook
Kazakhstan shifts PM to security chief
Oil prices gain despite rising OPEC supply forecast
US to give Philippines military planes
Singapore wages war on Zika-bearing mosquitoes
Italy quake death toll nears 250
Viral photos add fuel to French burkini debate
18 dead as Italy struck by powerful quake
Japan's first lady visits Pearl Harbor
Pokemon's a no-go on Bangkok's roads
July was Earth's hottest month in modern times
Pakistan rock climbers scale new heights