Police repression amid Catalonia Independence Referendum
Catalans went to the polls in large numbers on Sunday, 1st October 2017 in a referendum on independence from Spain considered illegal by the central government in Madrid and declared unconstitutional by the constitutional court. Reports emerged throughout the day of clashes with police who attempted to prevent the vote by forcibly entering polling stations, confiscating ballot boxes and firing rubber bullets into crowds of voters.
Many voters and supporters of the referendum had taken pre-emptive action by occupying schools and other sites that were due to operate as polling stations on 1st October. Images and video footage of police using violence to remove voters occupying some voting stations was shared widely on social media:
— Roger Planes (@wodlander) October 1, 2017
Amid allegations that the internet had been deliberately shut off to prevent polling officials checking the voting register, police were also filmed firing rubber bullets into crowds of protestors on the streets of Catalonia:
By 3pm local time, the Catalan Government reported that 337 people had been injured as a result of violence by police attempting to disrupt the vote from proceeding. International leaders including Belgium's Prime Minister and the leader of the opposition in the UK, Jeremy Corbyn, condemned the actions of the police on social media and called for the Spanish government to put an end to the violence.
Police violence against citizens in #Catalonia is shocking. The Spanish government must act to end it now.— Jeremy Corbyn (@jeremycorbyn) October 1, 2017
CIVICUS' Silvia Puerto-Aboy, who is based in the neighbouring region of Valencia, captured some of the days main developments in this Storify timeline:
The CIVICUS Monitor will update this post during the day as events unfold in Catalonia.