Pro-independence protest in Catalonia urges local lawmakers to agree on break from Spain

Around 3,000 protesters have gathered in Barcelona to support an organization that seeks the creation of a Catalan state independent from Spain and urge regional lawmakers to reach an agreement to form a transitional government.

The Catalan National Assembly, with about 30,000 fee-paying members, called Sunday's rally to lobby 10 lawmakers from the far-left CUP group to set aside differences with 62 parliamentarians from the "Together for Yes" alliance and break a logjam that is paralyzing progress toward an independent Catalonia.

The parliament of Catalonia has until Jan. 10 to elect a leader and form a government or it must call a new election.

With 72 seats, pro-secessionists would hold the majority in the 135-seat regional parliament, although they only secured 48 percent of the popular vote in September elections.