The Latest: Supporters of Spanish unity gather for rally

Hundreds of people opposing Catalan independence have begun gathering in central Barcelona before what is expected to be a major demonstration in favor of Spain's unity.

The protesters, waving Spanish flags, were to march later in the day through part of the city center. The demonstration comes two days after Catalonia's separatist lawmakers voted to secede from Spain. The move was met by the central government in Madrid triggering unprecedented constitutional powers to take control of the region's affairs.

Organizers of Sunday's march say its goal is to defend Spain's unity and reject "an unprecedented attack in the history of democracy." Their slogan will be "We are all Catalonia. Common sense for coexistence!" Members of the central government and main pro-union parties are expected to join.

Three weeks ago, the same group organized a mass rally that brought hundreds of thousands onto Barcelona's streets.