Catalans link arms in bid for independence from Spain
UPI International Top News (Published: 11-Sep 2013 2:19 PM, Received: 2:19:10 PM)
Word Count: 179
Thousands of residents in the Catalonia region of Spain joined together -- literally -- linking arms Wednesday in a bid for independence.
The Catalans joined arms at 5:14 p.m. seeking to link together in protests in towns throughout the region in an effort to draw attention to a bid for a Catalan independence voter referendum next year.
Organizers hoped residents would link arms across 400 kilometers (248 miles), connecting 86 different towns and villages.
It wasn't immediately clear how successful the arm-in-arm effort was, but independence rallies in many towns brought large and festive crowds of people waving the Catalan independence flag and singing traditional folk songs, TheLocal.es reported.
Sept. 11 is the anniversary of a military defeat at the hands of the Spanish government that many Catalans regard as the tipping point in 300 years of subservience.
Though the region is a major driver of the Spanish economy, residents in Catalonia have been especially hard-hit since the 2008 worldwide recession and the nation's ongoing debt crisis. The unemployment rate in some parts of Catalonia is nearly 25 percent.
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Original headline: Catalans link arms in bid for independence from Spain
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