World

Group opposed to Catalonia pro-independence poll holds protests in cities across Spain

  • A man looks at information on a table about an informal poll scheduled for next Sunday in a street in Girona, Spain, on Saturday Nov. 8, 2014. The pro-independence regional government of Catalonia stages a symbolic poll on secession in a show of determination and defiance after the Constitutional Court suspended its plans to hold an official independence referendum following a legal challenge by the Spanish government. (AP Photo/Emilio Morenatti)

    A man looks at information on a table about an informal poll scheduled for next Sunday in a street in Girona, Spain, on Saturday Nov. 8, 2014. The pro-independence regional government of Catalonia stages a symbolic poll on secession in a show of determination and defiance after the Constitutional Court suspended its plans to hold an official independence referendum following a legal challenge by the Spanish government. (AP Photo/Emilio Morenatti)  (The Associated Press)

  • Businessman Emilio Busquets carries a drawing of a ballot box to decorate his shop ahead of voting on an informal poll, scheduled for next Sunday, in Girona, Spain, on Saturday Nov.8, 2014. The pro-independence regional government of Catalonia stages a symbolic poll on secession in a show of determination and defiance after the Constitutional Court suspended its plans to hold an official independence referendum following a legal challenge by the Spanish government. (AP Photo/Emilio Morenatti)

    Businessman Emilio Busquets carries a drawing of a ballot box to decorate his shop ahead of voting on an informal poll, scheduled for next Sunday, in Girona, Spain, on Saturday Nov.8, 2014. The pro-independence regional government of Catalonia stages a symbolic poll on secession in a show of determination and defiance after the Constitutional Court suspended its plans to hold an official independence referendum following a legal challenge by the Spanish government. (AP Photo/Emilio Morenatti)  (The Associated Press)

  • Oriol Junqueras, head of the pro-independence Republican Left of Catalonia, center, holds a drawing a of ballot box during a rally ahead of voting on an informal poll, scheduled for next Sunday, in Girona, Spain, on Saturday Nov.8, 2014. The pro-independence regional government of Catalonia stages a symbolic poll on secession in a show of determination and defiance after the Constitutional Court suspended its plans to hold an official independence referendum following a legal challenge by the Spanish government. (AP Photo/Emilio Morenatti)

    Oriol Junqueras, head of the pro-independence Republican Left of Catalonia, center, holds a drawing a of ballot box during a rally ahead of voting on an informal poll, scheduled for next Sunday, in Girona, Spain, on Saturday Nov.8, 2014. The pro-independence regional government of Catalonia stages a symbolic poll on secession in a show of determination and defiance after the Constitutional Court suspended its plans to hold an official independence referendum following a legal challenge by the Spanish government. (AP Photo/Emilio Morenatti)  (The Associated Press)

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.