Catalonia’s independence referendum descends into violence — Hundreds of people have been injured as riot police shut down polling stations — ‘Police brutality will shame forever the Spanish state.’

A man covered in blood with his shirt torn is escorted by police officers as violent clashes broke out in the northeastern region

A man covered in blood with his shirt torn is escorted by police officers as violent clashes broke out in the northeastern region

  • Officers were seen storming buildings across Catalonia to seize ballot boxes and prevent voting
  • The Spanish government in Madrid has declared the vote illegal and ordered it be shut down 
  • Separatists pledged to hold the referendum anyway and called on 5.3million eligible citizens to vote
  • Thousands of demonstrators have taken to the streets to protest against their votes being taken away
  • Catalan’s government said at least 337 people had been injured in the clashes, some seriously 

Hundreds of people have been injured as riot police shut down polling stations on the day of the controversial independence referendum in Catalonia.

Officers were seen storming buildings across the northeastern Spanish region before walking out with seized ballot boxes.

Footage captured in the village of Sarria de Ter in the province of Girona showed authorities using an axe to smash down the doors of a polling station where Catalan president Carles Puigdemont was due to cast his vote.

And in Barcelona, the region’s capital, officers fired rubber bullets at thousands of protesters demonstrating against their votes being denied.

At least 337 have been hurt in the clashes with some seriously injured, a Catalan government spokesman said, while FC Barcelona’s football match with Las Palmas has been suspended.

Spain’s Constitutional Court has suspended the referendum and the central government says it is illegal.

But regional separatist leaders pledged to hold it anyway and called on the area’s 5.3million eligible voters to show up to cast their ballots.

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Spanish National Police prevents people from entering a voting site for the controversial referendum in Barcelona 

Spanish National Police prevents people from entering a voting site for the controversial referendum in Barcelona

Spanish Guardia Civil officers smash down the door of a polling station where the Catalan president Carles Puigdemont was due to vote in Sarria de Ter

Spanish Guardia Civil officers smash down the door of a polling station where the Catalan president Carles Puigdemont was due to vote in Sarria de Ter

A man falls to the ground during scuffles with Spanish Civil Guard officers outside a polling station in Sant Julia de Ramis

A man falls to the ground during scuffles with Spanish Civil Guard officers outside a polling station in Sant Julia de Ramis

People tend to the head wound of an elderly woman siting on a staircase as protesters take to the streets in Barcelona

People tend to the head wound of an elderly woman siting on a staircase as protesters take to the streets in Barcelona

A police officer fires rubber bullets at thousands of protesters demonstrating against their votes being taken away

A police officer fires rubber bullets at thousands of protesters demonstrating against their votes being taken away

Today Mr Puidgemont condemned the Spanish government’s crack down. He said: ‘Police brutality will shame forever the Spanish state.’

But the Spanish deputy prime minister Soraya Sáenz de Santamaría said officers in Catalonia are acting ‘in a proportionate manner’.

She added that the Catalan government ‘has behaved with absolute irresponsibility’ by going ahead with the referendum.

He was pictured casting his vote in Cornella de Terri, near the northern city of Girona, after the original polling centre where he was due to appear was closed down.

In Barcelona, police forcefully removed a few hundred would-be voters from a polling station at a school.

Daniel Riano was inside when the police busted in the building’s front door.

The 54-year-old said: ‘We were waiting inside to vote when the National Police used force to enter, they used a mace to break in the glass door and they took everything.

‘One policeman put me in a headlock to drag me out, while I was holding my wife’s hand. It was incredible. They didn’t give any warning.’

Ferran Miralles said a crowd scuffled with police outside as they formed a tight perimeter around the door. Miralles said: ‘They were very aggressive. They pushed me out of the way.’

Elsewhere in the city, police have arrested several people outside the Treball voting centre amid scuffles on the street. Officers dragged some of the protesters away and detained them.

Catalonia’s government spokesman said this morning that the disputed independence referendum was underway in 73 per cent of about 6,000 polling stations despite the police crackdown.

People began arriving before dawn to join parents, children and activists who have been occuping polling stations across the region with the aim of preventing police from shutting them down.

Read more: http://www.dailymail.co.uk/news/article-4937860/Riot-police-clash-voters-Catalonia.html#ixzz4uGR2HT7I
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One Response to “Catalonia’s independence referendum descends into violence — Hundreds of people have been injured as riot police shut down polling stations — ‘Police brutality will shame forever the Spanish state.’”

  1. daveyone1 Says:

    Reblogged this on World4Justice : NOW! Lobby Forum..

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