The heavy-handed tactics of prime minister Mariano Rajoy turned to chaos and clashes as police moved to block the Catalonia independence vote. European politicians are shocked.
Riot Police Attack Voters in Girona, Hundreds Injured Nationwide
That image does not convey the brutality accurately. Please play the video.
UK Labour Leader Cites Shocking Police Violence in Tweet
Barcelona Mayor Calls on Rajoy to Resign
The Guardian reports Hundreds injured as riot police storm Catalan referendum polling stations.
The mayor of Barcelona said 460 people had been injured after Spanish police in riot gear stormed polling stations to prevent Catalonia’s independence referendum from going ahead on Sunday.
Although many Catalans managed to cast their ballots in the poll, which the Spanish authorities have declared illegal, others were forcibly stopped from voting as schools housing ballot boxes were raided by the national police.
The large Ramon Llull school in Barcelona was the scene of a sustained operation, with witnesses describing police using axes to smash their way in, charging the crowds and firing rubber bullets.
Similar scenes were reported elsewhere. Riot police smashed the glass doors of the sports centre near Girona where Puigdemont had been due to vote. Despite forcing their way in, they failed to stop the Catalan president voting. Pictures showed him casting his ballot in nearby Cornella del Terri.
The Catalan health ministry said 216 people were hurt in Barcelona, 80 in Girona, 64 in Lleida, 53 in Terres de l’Ebre, 27 in Catalunya central and 25 in Tarragona. The two most seriously injured were in hospitals in Barcelona.
The Catalan president, Carles Puigdemont, told crowds the “police brutality will shame the Spanish state for ever”, while the mayor of Barcelona, Ada Colau, demanded an end to the police actions and called for the resignation of the Spanish prime minister, Mariano Rajoy.
Guardian Live Report
The Guardian Live reports.
- 465 people have been injured as Catalans vote in an “illegal” referendum on the region’s independence, according to the Catalan health ministry. The two most seriously injured are in hospitals in Barcelona.
- Voting has been marred by a brutal police crackdown. Videos show police hitting people in the crowd with batons while voters hold up their hands, police dragging voters from polling stations by their hair, and Spanish police attacking Catalan firefighters.
- The police action has been mostly confined to Barcelona, the Catalonian capital. There has been no police presence in the majority of voting stations throughout the region.
The Spanish authorities and Catalan police have released further details on the number of polling stations they have closed down today.
- Spanish national police have closed down 46 in total (27 in Barcelona, six in Tarragona, six in Girona and seven in Lleida).
- The Guardia Civil have closed another 46 (14 in Barcelona, 12 in Tarragona, eight in Girona and 12 in Lleida).
- Catalan police, the Mossos, say they have closed 244 polling stations across Catalonia.
- In total, 336 polling stations have been closed down by local and national authorities.
To put these numbers in context, the Catalan government says more than 2,000 polling stations were set up across the province for the referendum. The majority remain open.
If indeed only 336 out of thousands of voting stations are closed, prime minister Mariano Rajoy is caught red-handed in a huge lie.
Yesterday the government said most of the stations were secured. Clearly, they weren’t.
Expect more lies from Rajoy (both sides if you wish to be fair, but the majority will come from Rajoy).
Rajoy Won’t Survive
Yesterday I stated Mariano Rajoy will not survive as prime minister. Today’s actions seal the fate.
The cowards at the EU have yet to issue a statement.
Mike “Mish” Shedlock