Thousands march in Barcelona against Catalan secession

Barcelona — A few thousand Spaniards are marching in Barcelona in favor of national unity and against the separatist movement in northeastern Catalonia.

The marchers are cheering when residents hang Spanish flags on their balconies as they pass by.

The march comes two days before Catalonia's regional holiday called "La Diada," which in recent years separatists have turned into a huge rally for their cause of breaking ties with the rest of Spain.

Some pro-union marches are carrying posters which call for a "Diada for everyone," signaling what they call the exclusion of non-separatists from the public celebrations.

Catalonia's separatist-led government is pushing Spanish authorities to allow an authorised referendum on secession.

Last year, Catalan authorities held an illegal vote on secession and issued an ineffective declaration of independence.