Catalan Refrendum Sparks Protests in Spain with Heavy Police Crackdown

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Catalan nationalists are attempting to press ahead with tomorrow’s “illegal” independence referendum despite Spanish cops trying to stop the election

Riot police ‘fire rubber bullets’ at crowd as they block voters at besieged polling stations

Spanish police in riot gear seized ballot boxes and surrounded activist-held polling stations in Catalonia Sunday as thousands flooded the streets to vote in an independence referendum banned by Madrid.

As the vote officially opened, scenes of chaos erupted as police began moving in to prevent people from casting their ballots, forcing their way into one sports centre in the town of Girona where the region’s separatist leader was due to vote.

 

Video footage from journalists on the ground appeared to show police firing rubber bullets at the crowd outside the Ramon Llull polling station in Barcelona, with one person said to have been injured.

 

Several people have suffered minor injuries, including cuts and bruises, as National Police and Guardia Civil security forces push their way through crowds of referendum supporters to access the interior of polling stations.

 

Spain’s interior ministry has asked people not to obstruct members of the security forces as they seize electoral material from polling stations across Catalonia, appealing for “cooperation and respect so that a direct court order can be enacted peacefully”

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