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Demonstrators participate in a Pro-Independence march as part of the celebrations of the National Day of Catalonia on Thursday, in Barcelona, Spain. A week before Scotland votes on whether to break away from the United Kingdom, separatists in northeastern Spain convinced hundreds of thousands of people celebrating the "Diada de Catalunya" to protest across Catalonia to demand a secession sentiment vote that the central government in Madrid insists would be illegal.

People stand on a balcony decorated with Catalonia flags in Barcelona on Thursday.Emilio Morenatti / AP