With just hours to go until their date with destiny, supporters of Catalan independence have staged a final rally ahead of this weekend’s banned referendum on breaking away from Spain.
Central government has confiscated voting slips and other materials to try to halt a ballot it says is illegal, insisting it won’t go ahead.
But the thousands who gathered in Barcelona for the end-of-campaign gathering on Friday night were defiant.
“Today we won, because they did not know us and still don’t know us,” Catalonia’s regional leader Carles Puigdemont told the crowd.
“They wanted us to surrender at the first sign of trouble, but they did not know that we, as a people that face difficulties, become stronger and this means to win.”
Catalonia's case for independence is rooted in the region's history and culture, but only 41% are likely to vote yes pic.twitter.com/yBf7fcUn7f— The Economist (@TheEconomist) 28 septembre 2017
Organisers say 60,000 people have registered to participate in a mass sleepover at schools being used for Sunday’s vote, despite police orders to evacuate polling stations by 6 a.m. on Sunday morning.
With the two sides on collision course, tension is mounting.