Day of bravery for Catalonia - Day of shame for Spain

Nearly 900 people were reported to have been hurt yesterday after riot police stormed polling stations, dragging out voters and firing rubber bullets into crowds. Intimidation by the Spanish state did not prevent millions of Catalans managing to cast their ballots, however, others were forcibly stopped from voting as schools housing ballot boxes were raided by police. On a day that saw the reputation of Spain in absolute tatters, the bravery of the Catalan people stands in stark contrast to the cowardly and abusive behaviour of the Spanish national police and paramilitary Civil Guard. 

It is estimated that some 90% voted in favour of the independence of Catalonia from Spain. Despite all of the intimidation from Spain a spokesman for the Catalan government said 2.26 million Catalans – 43% of the region’s 5.3 million eligible voters – had taken part in the referendum. The Catalan government had not set a threshold for minimum turnout in the election, arguing the vote would be binding regardless of the level of participation. Catalan president, Carles Puigdemont said that in the “next few days” he would “send the results of today’s vote to the Catalan parliament, where the sovereignty of our people lies, so that it can act in accordance with the law of the referendum”. 

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