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Giant Catalan rally due before contested independence vote

Pro-independence protesters are due to come out in force in the streets of Barcelona on Monday for Catalonia's national day, three weeks ahead of a controversial secession referendum banned by Spain. The "Diada" holiday, which commemorates the fall of Barcelona to Spain in 1714, has been used by separatists in recent years to press for an independent state. They hope this will be the last one before the wealthy northeastern region breaks away from Spain.
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