Barcelona, Spain (CNN)Large crowds protested in Barcelona on Sunday to demand that their regional Catalan leaders hold fire on declaring independence from Spain, as they have threatened to do in a matter of days.
Catalan leaders held an independence referendum one week ago in a divisive and controversial poll that Madrid slammed as illegal.
Protesters hold a banner that reads “Catalonia is Spain” at the pro-unity rally in Barcelona on Sunday.
The Catalan leaders claimed that 90% of voters were in favor of seceding from Spain. Those numbers are unlikely to be representative of true public opinion, as supporters of remaining in Spain may have considered voting illegal and abstained.
A week of protests have nonetheless shown a bitter division.
Massive crowds have taken to the streets to rally for independence since the vote a week ago. But there have also been large crowds against separation, including in Madrid, as well as protests calling for dialogue.
A car is adorned with Spanish and Catalan flags reading “I am Spanish and Catalan” and “I am Catalan and Spanish.”
The march was organized by the Societat Civil Catalana, which is supported by political parties in Madrid and which called on people from all over the country to attend the march.
It wasn’t clear how many people might have come in from other cities. CNN spoke to several protesters, all of whom were Catalan.
In a sea of red-and-yellow Spanish and Catalan flags, protesters sent a clear message, shouting: “Catalonia is Spain.”