Around 80,000 people marched through the streets of Barcelona to show support for Spain a day after the city hosted two pro-independence protests.

Demonstrators hold placards reading
Demonstrators hold placards reading "together we are stronger", "a few people can not speak for everyone" during a demonstration called by the anti-separatists organisation "Societat Civil Catalana" (Catalan Civil Society, SCC), in Barcelona, on October 27, 2019. (AFP)

Huge crowds of Catalans supporting continued union with Spain marched through Barcelona on Sunday, a day after the city hosted two pro-independence protests - highlighting deep political faultlines within the region.

Police said Sunday's peaceful rally drew 80,000 while organisers Societat Civil Catalana, a pro-unity umbrella group, put the turnout at 400,000.

"Unlike the separatists, we neither want nor need frontiers, or walls," said its leader Fernando Sanchez Costa.

Pro-independence regional government head Quim Torra should step down "if he can't govern for all Catalans", local newspaper La Vanguardia quoted Sanchez Costa as saying.

Some 350,000 had attended a separatist march on Saturday organised by civil rights groups, police said, hours before a second, smaller, pro-independence demonstration outside Spanish police headquarters turned violent.

Independence is highly divisive in Catalonia, with a poll in July showing 44 percent backing secession and 48.3 percent against it.

All Spain's main political parties have rejected any moves towards Catalan independence, with only left-wing Podemos accepting the possibility of a second referendum, following one that was held in autumn 2017 despite being declared illegal.

Nine Catalan politicians and activists were this month sentenced to long prison terms over their roles in that failed independence bid.

Source: Reuters