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175,000 form human chain for Basque vote

The Associated Press

Demonstrators make a human chain calling for the independence of the Basque Country in the city of San Sebastian, Spain, on Sunday.

The Associated Press MADRID (AP) — Tens of thousands of Spaniards from the northern Basque Country have formed a line that stretched over 200 kilometers to demand a ballot on secession for the wealthy region.

Protesters held hands or extended scarves between themselves to form the human chain, which connected the cities of San Sebastian, Bilbao and regional seat Vitoria.

The scarves bore the slogan “It’s in our hands” written in Basque

Organizers say 175,000 people participated, including Basque and Catalan pro-secession politicians and activists. Basque police did not give an official count.

The demonstration took place just over a month after Basque militant group ETA announced its dissolution.

Spain has refused to allow an official referendum on secession by the Catalonia region, whose leaders tried and failed to declare independence last year.Speech

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