Catalans want independence vote from Spain, but will it happen?
Roughly 800 Catalan mayors joined the president of the northeastern region of Spain Saturday in support of a vote for independence from the Spanish government set for Nov. 9. But the vote has so far been blocked by the Spanish Constitutional Court, Reuters reported.
Catalonia's President, Artur Mas, has garnered the support of 920 of the region's 947 municipalities.
On Sept. 29, the Spanish Constitutional Court issued an injunction preventing the Catalan government to go ahead with the vote, the Wall Street Journal reported.
Leaders in Catalonia, a region which has its own language and culture, have been spurred to fight harder for an independence vote after Scotland held its own referendum on independence.
"It's false that the right to vote can be assigned unilaterally to one region about a matter that affects all Spaniards," said Spain's Prime Minister, Mariano Rajoy in a statement to reporters on Sept. 29. "It's profoundly anti-democratic."
In October 2012, U.K.'s Prime Minister, David Cameron signed the Edinburgh agreement with Scotland's First Minister, Alex Salmond, granting Scotland the legal power to hold a referendum, according to The U.K. Guardian.
Frustrated by the Spanish government's response to the call for the referendum, activists from a campaign called Muts i a la Gabia (Silenced and Caged) have been placing ballot boxes in cages in public spaces in cities throughout Catalonia.
"I like to think of it as a peaceful way of showing what our feelings are," Liz Castro of the pro-independence group La Fàbrica told Reuters.
"You light candles, you sing along with songs, you hold hands across 400 kilometers from one end of your country to the other, you make huge 'Vs' in the streets and you make poetic demonstrations with caged ballot boxes," she said.
Seven and a half million people live in Catalonia, with 5.5 million concentrated in the capital city of Barcelona. It is the wealthiest, and most indebted region in Spain, according to the BBC.
Groups opposed to the independence vote are staging their own events and will hold a demonstration on Oct. 12, coinciding with Spain's National Holiday.