Emric Blanes, 50, has lived in Barcelona for 20 years and is the secretary of a local assembly in the Sants district of the city. He said people in the region were demanding independence because they are treated unfairly by the Spanish government.
Indeed, the most common concern amongst separatists is that the region provides far more to the country, economically, than it receives in return. Besides that, they feel that their culture is being sidelined.
"I do not trust Spain any more," Blanes said. "We have tried to reach an agreement with Madrid for a number of years but it is not possible. They are banning our language in schools, they are not investing enough in Catalonia, and they use the constitutional court as a political device. It is not neutral.
"So our parliament has no effective powers. And we pay a lot of taxes but get no power. Independence is the only remedy. Catalan culture is not treated in a fair way by Spain – we are treated as second-class citizens."
He said separatists would simply "declare independence" if they were not given a chance to find a political solution.
"This is a very powerful, peaceful movement for independence and so we hope a political solution can now be agreed. We hope an independence referendum can be agreed with Madrid or we will declare independence. We are a majority in Catalonia. We never agreed to be inside Spain."