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Thousands of people gathered in Madrid this Saturday to defend the unity of Spain and the Spanish constitution, the day after article 155 of the constitution was applied in Catalonia, almost simultaneously with the Catalan parliament's proclamation of independence.

The event at Madrid's Plaza de Colón was called by the group Foundation for the Defense of the Spanish Nation (Denaes), and among those who attended were two senior representatives of Spain's governing PP [Popular Party]: the party's vice secretary Pablo Casado, along with the president for the Community of Madrid, Cristina Cifuentes.

Translation: At the Plaza de Colón, supporting the unity of Spain which yesterday they wanted to destroy in a coup against the rule of law. They'll never achieve it. - Cristina Cifuentes 

Today I accompanied Cristina Cifuentes to the Plaza de Colón in Madrid to defend national unity and the constitution. Long live Catalonia! Long live Spain! - Pablo Casado Blanco 

"Mr Rajoy: we will be there to give support in your decisions and also to stop you from going backwards" today in Plaza Colón, Madrid - Mariela delaGuardia

The atmosphere in the Madrid square was festive, with the music of Spanish popstars Melendi and Raphael playing, and with surrounding streets closed to traffic. There were flags on display offering support to the Guardia Civil and among the placards were some with the motto 'Puigdemont to prison'.

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