+ The days leading up to the referendum
In an exclusive interview with El País, Spanish Prime Minister Mariano Rajoy stood firm in the face of the separatist challenge, ahead of a session in the regional parliament planned for 10 October 2017 at which an independence declaration could be made.
Marches ('white demonstrations') took place in a range of Spanish cities, including Barcelona, on the 7 October 2017 to call for Spanish unity. Dressed in white and without any flags, protesters marched under the single slogan in Spanish and Catalan: Hablemos/Parlem – let’s talk.
The main movement in Catalonia against independence, Societat Civil Catalana (SCC), the Catalan Civil Society, organised a further march in Barcelona on the 8 October 2017. The protest consisted of 350,000 people according to Barcelona police, and of 950,000 people according to the SCC. Some of the protestors had come to Barcelona from other parts of Spain. The people marched under the slogan 'Enough! Let's go back to reason'.
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