Barcelona demonstrators give their own verdict on independence question, but have they left it too late?

Sunday was the day “Silent Catalonia” finally found its voice. After months of looking on as separatist forces dominated public debate, scorned the other side as fascists and claimed to have won the argument in last week’s disputed referendum, the majority of Catalans who oppose independence from Spain took back the streets of Barcelona.

“Esta es la mayoría silenciosa!” (here is the silent majority), “Enough is enough” and “Time for common sense”, they shouted. Early estimates put the number of anti-independence demonstrators at almost a million, although the Catalan police’s figure was much lower. It was as if Barcelona’s citizens had decided to hold their own spontaneous, grassroots referendum. Their verdict: an overwhelming no.

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