Published: Fri, September 22, 2017
Medicine | By Daryl Nelson

Catalonia: nationalists call for permanent street protests to ensure independence referendum

Catalonia: nationalists call for permanent street protests to ensure independence referendum

Hundreds of people gathered to protest the raids and shout pro-independence slogans outside offices in the region's capital, Barcelona.

Scottish First Minister Nicola Sturgeon has expressed her solidarity with Catalans fighting for their right to hold an independence referendum, sharing her concern over Spain's attempts to stop it. We're discussing whether Spain has democracy and freedoms or not.

The president of Catalonia, Carles Puigdemont, accused the government of Mariano Rajoy of suspending de facto the autonomic regime and applying a state of exception in that community.

They chanted slogans such as "We will vote!" and "Occupation forces out!", but remained peaceful.

Parti Quebecois leader Jean-Francois Lisee, a Quebec separatist, said the provincial government must ask the Spanish people to respect democracy and allow the Catalan people to vote.

He tweeted: "We will not accept a return to the darkest times".

The mayor of Barcelona, Ada Colau, called the raids "a democratic scandal" and said Catalans would defend their institutions.

On Tuesday police searched for election material including ballot boxes, voting papers and campaign leaflets - raiding private courier companies in the process.

Magnitude-3.6 quake hits Los Angeles
People fill Paseo de la Reforma after evacuating from their offices after an quake in Mexico City , Tuesday, Sept. 19, 2017. A magnitude 3.6 quake was felt in Los Angeles on Monday night, particularly on the Westside and in the San Fernando Valley.

The police operation comes a day after officers seized over 45,000 notifications destined for Catalans selected to staff polling stations.

And over the weekend, Spain's Guardia Civil confiscated more than 1.3 million pro-independence posters, flyers, and pamphlets, the FT added. Do they uphold the law as decreed by the Spanish government or as laid out by the separatist regional politicians?

When news of the events spread, people started gathering outside the finance ministry in Barcelona.

It was nearly always peaceful, but the pro-independence Terra Lliure group, which was active between 1978 and 1995, killed one person. Catalan MP Joan Tarda begged the crowd outside the finance ministry to stay calm.

Catalonia's own Mossos d'Esquadra (Troopers) are the typical anti-riot body in the autonomous region, however. The Guardia Civil is associated by the public with the fascist dictatorship, thus they are rarely seen in the region.

Catalan pro-independence supporters have scuffled with Spanish Civil Guard officers escorting a government official arrested as part of a crackdown by national authorities on Catalonia's plans to hold a secession referendum. Puigdemont said, "Logically, the state has to react".

"We will do it because we have contingency plans in place to ensure it happens, but above all because it has the support of the enormous majority of the population, who are sick of the arrogance and abuse of the People's Party government". "They've been warned and they know the referendum can't take place".

Catalonia's regional government has vowed to declare independence from Spain within 48 hours if the "yes" vote wins.

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