UP to one million people took to the streets of Barcelona today in a fervent call for Spanish unity.

The march comes after the Catalan parliament voted for independence – a move which was immediately followed by the Spanish government triggering Article 155 to declare direct rule over the separatist region.

It is the first time in history that Madrid has imposed direct rule over a Spanish region.

Many of those protesting in Barcelona chanted that sacked Catalan leader Carles Puigdemont should be jailed.

It comes after Spanish Foreign Minister, Alfonso Dastis said that Puigdemont could ‘theoretically’ run for re-election in the December 21 regional vote, ‘if he is not put in jail at that time.’

Videos from the rally also showed small groups chanting ‘Viva Franco’ and clashing with the Mossos d’Esquadra – Catalunya’s police.

However, it wasn’t all bad news for Mr Puigdemont, who was offered asylum in Belgium today by Migration Minister Theo Francken.



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