Catalan separatists take to the streets ahead of referendum

Posted September 25, 2017

Regional police had to protect Civil Guard agents as they left one raided building. There have been intermittent pro-referendum protests, at times by thousands of people, since a judge ordered raids in Catalan government offices and arrested a dozen officials on Wednesday.

He and his girlfriend Laia Blanco plan to travel to Spain next week to try to vote in the referendum.

The measure would mean that Madrid would send direct orders to the regional Mossos d'Esquadra police, who have been criticized for not cracking down hard enough on preparations for the vote.

The arrests risked stoking public anger in Catalonia, where pro-independence passions can run high.

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Later, protesters rejoiced when National Police officers left the headquarters of the anti-establishment CUP political party.

"The Catalan government does not accept this intervention of the state because it does not take into account all the legal framework that we have in order to take care of the security in Catalonia", he said.

Writing to Spanish Prime Minister Mariano Rajoy as well as political leaders in Catalonia, 18 Holyrood parliamentarians accused in Madrid of flouting "the norms of European democracy".

NAIJ.com earlier reported that hundreds of thousands of Catalans rallied on Monday, September 11, to demand their region's secession from Spain, in a show of strength three weeks ahead of an independence referendum which has been banned by Madrid.

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At the demonstration outside the Catalan regional ministry of economy, protester Charo Rovira said she felt sad at the turn of events.

As part of the crackdown, police confiscated almost 10 million ballot papers, the Interior Ministry said.

The Catalan National Assembly civic group has called for the protests to continue until the regional officials are released.

Barcelona Football Club, which is popular around the world, waded into the controversy, too. Moreover, Spain has been struggling to contain separatist sentiment in other parts of the country too, and Catalonia's potential secession could trigger a chain reaction from other regions to go their own way as well, especially if they're convinced that they could do better on their own than remaining within the floundering state.

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Trudeau, when questioned, has stressed the importance of the right to self-determination and the rule of law, but has said he doesn't want to intervene in what he described as an internal debate.