Nationalist activists march waving Catalan and Spanish flags during a mass rally against Catalonia's declaration of independence, in Barcelona, Spain, Sunday, Oct. 29, 2017. (AP Photo/Emilio Morenatti)
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Pro-unity protesters gathered for a rally in Catalonia's capital Barcelona Sunday, two days after regional lawmakers voted to break away from Spain, plunging the country into an unprecedented political crisis.Junqueras used the word "country" to refer to Catalonia, whose lawmakers pushed Spain into uncharted waters Friday with a vote to declare the region independent.Then on Friday, Catalan lawmakers passed a motion, by 70 votes out of 135 in the secessionist-majority regional parliament, to declare the region of 7.5 million people independent from Spain.Rajoy responded by deposing the regional government, dissolving its parliament, and calling Dec. 21 elections to replace them.It is the first visit by Real Madrid, Rajoy's favorite team, to Catalonia since the referendum.Rajoy drew sweeping powers, approved by the senate, under a never-before-used constitutional article designed to rein in rebels among Spain's 17 semi-autonomous regions.
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