Barcelona, Spain's vibrant Mediterranean capital is in the midst of a campaign that could end with the city in a country of its own, NBC News reported.
The Catalonia region is planning a referendum on independence from Spain Sunday despite a fierce crackdown from the conservative government, which has deemed the vote illegal.
It's one of Spain's biggest challenges since the end of the Franco dictatorship in 1975, with a fifth of its economy and 7.5 million people seriously considering whether to break away.
The head of the regional government, Carles Puigdemont, has tweeted, "We will not accept the darkest times," an apparent reference to the repression of the Franco regime. He added: "The [Catalan] government is in favor of liberty and democracy."