Published: Sat, September 23, 2017
World Media | By Shelia Harmon

Police arrests Catalan crackdown

Police arrests Catalan crackdown

Spain's Europa Press news agency and other media outlets said the raids Wednesday mostly targeted the region's economic and foreign departments as Spanish authorities worked to halt all preparatory moves for the planned October 1referendum.

"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 vast majority of the population who are sick of the arrogance and abuse of the People's Party (PP) government", he said in a televised statement. Student union representatives urged the protesters to remain over the weekend.

Authorities in the wealthy north-eastern region insist the vote will take place, even though Spain's Constitutional Court has ordered it to be suspended and the Madrid-based national government insists it is illegal.

Acting on a judge's orders, police seized 10 million ballot papers and arrested at least 12 people, mostly Catalan government officials, suspected of coordinating the referendum.

A ministry statement says the agents will provide backing for the Catalan regional police who are also under orders to prevent the October 1 referendum from taking place.

A demonstration in Barcelona against police raids and arrests of officials as part of a crackdown on a planned Catalan independence referendum has ended after those arrested were released. It did not say how many extra police would be sent.

Separatist parties who control the Catalan parliament pushed through the referendum law earlier this month after unsuccessfully demanding for years the right to hold a free vote on self-determination. The Catalan National Assembly, a driving force behind the secession movement, urged people to gather at noon September 21 outside the region's justice tribunal and bring tents if needed.

About 2,000 students gathered on Friday around and inside one of Barcelona's main universities, carrying pro-independence flags and banners supporting the vote, and shouting slogans in support of the arrested officials. The next day, Spain's Constitutional Court suspended the Catalan law on referendum.

Like this: