Streets of Barcelona became a sea of estelada flags as pro-independence supporters turned out en masse for the sixth Diada de Catalunya in a row

Up to 1 million Catalans have gathered in Barcelona to call for independence less than three weeks before the region is due to hold a bitterly divisive vote on breaking away from Spain.

For the sixth successive year, Catalonia’s national day – La Diada de Catalunya – was used as a political rally by the pro-independence movement. Although organisers said that 450,000 people had registered for the event, Barcelona police later tweeted that 1 million had turned up.

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