Separatists launch 'autumn of protests' on Catalonia Day

Independence demonstrators, some of them holding flares, march during the Catalan National Day in Barcelona, Spain, Tuesday, Sept. 11, 2018. Catalan s

Independence demonstrators, some of them holding flares, march during the Catalan National Day in Barcelona, Spain, Tuesday, Sept. 11, 2018. Catalan s

Demonstrators, some of them holding flares, march carrying "esteladas" or independence flags during the Catalan National Day in Barcelona, Spain, Tues

Demonstrators, some of them holding flares, march carrying "esteladas" or independence flags during the Catalan National Day in Barcelona, Spain, Tues

Members of an ultra-right-wing movement called 'Catalan Identitarian Movement' shout slogans during the Catalan National Day in Barcelona, Spain, Tues

Members of an ultra-right-wing movement called 'Catalan Identitarian Movement' shout slogans during the Catalan National Day in Barcelona, Spain, Tues

Demonstrators, some of them holding flares, march carrying "esteladas" or independence flags during the Catalan National Day in Barcelona, Spain, Tues

Demonstrators, some of them holding flares, march carrying "esteladas" or independence flags during the Catalan National Day in Barcelona, Spain, Tues

Members of a ultra-right-wing movement called 'Catalan Identitarian Movement' walk guarded by the police during celebrations of the Catalonia's region

Members of a ultra-right-wing movement called 'Catalan Identitarian Movement' walk guarded by the police during celebrations of the Catalonia's region

BARCELONA, Spain (AP) — Separatist authorities are calling for people to take to the streets of Barcelona to mark the Day of Catalonia, in the first of a series of mass mobilizations demanding independence from Spain.

The traditional Sept. 11 march marking the "Diada," when the Catalan capital fell to Spanish forces in 1714, is expected to draw hundreds of thousands of secession sympathizers Tuesday.

It comes nearly one year after a banned referendum on secession led to an ineffective independence declaration. Catalan separatist leaders and activists who pushed it, defying Spain's constitutional protection of territorial integrity, are either awaiting trial in prison or fled the country.

Catalan President Quim Torra, who came to power after secessionists won a regional election, wants the new center-left national government to agree to a binding independence referendum.