Around 1 million Catalans rallied in Barcelona on Monday in support of the region’s independence from Spain. The rally comes after Madrid blocked an upcoming independence referendum, which the Spanish government says is illegal. Pro-independence rallies are held annually on Sept. 11, which marks the ‘Diada,’ Catalonia’s national day, and commemorates the fall of Barcelona to Spain in 1714. The city’s police said Monday’s rally had one of the highest turnouts in recent years. Despite Spanish efforts to stop the referendum, Carles Puigdemont, the head of Catalonia’s regional government, said, “it’s not an option that the referendum won’t go ahead” and that he is prepared to go to jail for organizing the vote.