A man with the colors of the Spanish flag painted on his forehead protests as thousands packed the central Cibeles square in Madrid, Spain, Saturday, Sept. 30, 2017. (AP/Paul White)
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Thousands of people, many waving red and yellow Spanish flags, rallied in Madrid in favor of Spanish unity on Saturday, a day before a banned referendum on independence for Catalonia.Some of the demonstrators called for Catalonia's pro-independence president, Carles Puigdemont, to be jailed.Puigdemont has vowed to push ahead with the independence vote for Catalonia, a wealthy northeastern region that is home to about 7.5 million people, even though a Spanish court has ruled that the vote is unconstitutional.There is no leader in Spain," said Rafael Castillo, a 59-year-old engineer at the rally, wearing a scarf with the Spanish flag around his neck.Beside him stood Fernando Cepeda, a 58-year-old engineer, who said Catalonia and Spain's northern Basque Country already enjoyed more powers than German regions.
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