They took to the streets to call for the release of eight regional Ministers and two leaders of the popular campaign under investigation. The demonstrators were illuminated phone screens during sunset. Some of the detainees will be included in the list of the Catalan separatist party in elections next month.

Prime Minister Mariano Rajoy plans to visit Barcelona on Sunday. At the same time the mayor of Barcelona has condemned the leaders for independence.

The Catalan Parliament declared independence last month after the unrecognized referendum on the status of the province. Madrid said the dissolution of the regional Parliament and appointed regional elections on December 21.

After the reaction of the Madrid ousted the head of the government of Catalonia Carles Pujdeme went into voluntary exile in Belgium, and his closest associates were brought to justice.

The lawyer, whose firm represents two detained former Ministers, told bi-Bi-si, that their situation has deteriorated after the decision of Pokdemon to leave the country.

The independence movement has proved its ability to mobilize a large number of demonstrators. Many came to this last protest, from small towns and villages in Catalonia is a sign of a large scale movement.

Their next goal is to call for the release of eight politicians and two activists in custody on charges of incitement to overthrow the government and the rebellion. The authorities of Madrid insist that this is a matter exclusively for the courts, but the detention of politicians and activists has political influence. Perhaps imprisonment had boosted their popularity. It can stimulate the movement for independence in the eve of regional elections.

Camp, who plays for independence, wants to get a clear parliamentary majority. This will allow the movement to take another attempt to break away from Spain. But the unionist camp, representing the other half of the Catalan society, will actively participate in the campaign.

Protesters marched under the slogan "We are the Republic" and carried posters with the portraits of ten prisoners, declaring them political prisoners. Sacked former Ministers are under investigation on charges of allegedly organising the uprising and of the rebellion, while two activists were arrested in connection with the mass protest before the referendum.

The protesters chanted "Pokdemon for President!", and the cellist played traditional Christmas "the song of the birds", which is associated with the Catalans, who were driven into political exile.

The left Republican party of Catalonia (ERC), a key ally Pokdemon, announced that some of the prisoners, including party leader Oriol Junqueras, as well as some of the sacked Ministers, who also went to Belgium, will run on their electoral list.

However, the ERC rejected the appeal Pokdemon to fight the elections together with other parties in a single bloc for independence — as it was in 2015. According to a recent survey conducted by the Catalan newspaper La Vanguardia, it is projected that in December, the ERC will receive the largest share of votes.

The Spanish Prime Minister was the first to come to Catalonia since the introduction of direct rule two weeks ago. It is expected that he will speak before a meeting of supporters of his centre-right people's party, who is determined to Catalonia stayed part of Spain.

Hell Cola, who was elected mayor of Barcelona in 2015, anti-capitalist platform and whose party (formed in the merger of the left parties) participating for the first time in regional parliamentary elections, said that the leaders of the independence movement has deceived the population, pursuing their own interests.

"They have provoked tensions and unilaterally declared independence, which the majority does not want ", — she said at a meeting of his party en Catalunya Marta.