Catalan pro-independence supporters gather to start a demonstration near the EU neighborhood in Brussels on Thursday, December 7, 2017. Thousands of pro-Catalan supporters gathered in Brussels on Thursday, two weeks before the Spanish regional elections. (Virginia Mayo / Associated Press)
By Associated Press By Associated Press December 7 at 7:24 AM
BRUSSELS – Tens of thousands of people in Catalonia are They are joining Brussels complained about what they consider to be the lack of European Union aid after a referendum of failed independence in the Spanish region.
Brussels police said on Thursday that some 45,000 people attended the rally, which takes place two weeks before regional elections in Catalonia.
Singing and chanting slogans, the crowd marched around the main EU institutions, some with flags or posters with "Shame on You" stamped on an EU flag.
The former Catalan leader, Carles Puigdemont, was due to address the rally. He and four former cabinet members of the Catalan government arrived in Brussels after the referendum for fear of being arrested.
Many Catalans are pro-European, but they feel cheated by the inability of the bloc to mediate in its conflict with Madrid.
Copyright 2017 The Associated Press. All rights reserved. This material can not be published, transmitted, rewritten or redistributed.