Separatists launch ‘autumn of protests’ on Catalonia Day

BARCELONA, Spain (AP) — Separatist authorities called for people to take to the streets of Barcelona to mark the Day of Catalonia, in the first of a series of mass mobilisations demanding independence from Spain.

The traditional September 11 march marked the “Diada” which drew hundreds of thousands of secession sympathisers.

It comes nearly one year after a banned referendum on secession led to an ineffective independence declaration.

Catalan separatist leaders and activists who pushed it, defying Spain’s constitutional protection of territorial integrity, are either awaiting trial in prison or fled the country.

Catalan President Quim Torra, who came to power after secessionists won a regional election, wants the new centre-left national government to agree to a binding independence referendum.