An organization that opposes plans by the northeastern region of Catalonia to hold an informal independence poll has held protests in several cities across Spain.

Several hundred people in Madrid listened to Nobel laureate Mario Vargas Llosa read out a statement Saturday describing the poll planned for Nov. 9 as disrespectful of "the rule of law or the true will of the people."

The group, called Libres e Iguales (Free and Equal) includes politicians, intellectuals such as Vargas Llosa, and aristocrat Carlos Falco. It held gatherings in 52 cities said Popular Party lawmaker, Cayetana Alvarez de Toledo.

A protest in the Catalan city of Girona proceeded peacefully, he said. However one in Barcelona saw minor scuffles between pro- and anti-consultation supporters that the police broke up without making arrests.