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Thousands hold pro Catalan rally in southern France

Participants march with a mock-up of a coffin bearing the lettering 'Catalan country' during a demonstration in Perpignan, southern France, on September 10, 2016Several thousand people demonstrated Saturday in the southwestern French city of Perpignan to demand their Catalan heritage be spelt out after nationwide territorial reforms. Organisers said as many as 10,000 people gathered — police put the figure at some 7,800 people — to demand their newly-merged region contain the words “Pays catalan” (Catalan land). The new region merging Languedoc-Roussillon and Midi-Pyrenees is slated to be called Occitania following 2014 reforms shrinking the number of French regions from 22 to 13 in an administrative shake-up.

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