Supreme Court jails nine separatist leaders to between nine and 13 years for sedition over banned 2017 referendum and independence declaration, sparking angry protests in Barcelona.
The march was called by a platform set up in March and backed by the Catalan branches of Spain's two largest trade unions, the CCOO and the UGT, to "defend Catalan institutions" and "the rights and fundamental freedoms" of its citizens.
Catalonia's former leader Carles Puigdemont provisionally withdrew his bid for a second term as president, saying his party would propose a pro-secession campaigner, Jordi Sanchez.
The three Catalan defendants face charges of sedition and rebellion after the independence declaration. Meanwhile Catalan leader Carles Puigdemont was re-elected despite self-imposed exile in Brussels.
Spanish supreme court judge ruled four senior figures from the Catalan separatist government will remain in jail but granted six others bail.
Lawyer of Catalonia's deposed leader Puigdemont says his client will remain in Belgium until after December 21 elections.
Catalan president Carles Puigdemont seen among the huge crowds filling the streets around the Paseo de Gracia boulevard, with many chanting "independence" and "freedom."
Spanish prosecutors say Jordi Sanchez and Jordi Cuixart played a central role in orchestrating pro-independence protests last month that trapped national police inside a Barcelona building and destroyed their vehicles.
Catalan President Carles Puigdemont and Spanish Prime Minister Mariano Rajoy exchanged letters on Monday but made no headway in the dispute. Madrid has now given the region until Thursday to clarify whether it wants independence.
Spain’s Constitutional Court has suspended the vote and the national government calls it illegal. But Catalan authorities have pledged to declare independence within 48 hours of Sunday’s vote if the ‘yes’ side wins, no matter what the turnout is.
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