Catalonia Strikes Over Suppression of Independence Vote

Tens of thousands took to the streets to oppose a police crackdown that left hundreds hospitalized

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Story Transcript

JAISAL NOOR: Responding to calls for a general strike, tens of thousands protested across Catalonia, including a demonstration outside the Spanish National Police regional headquarters in Barcelona, on Tuesday, October 3, against the Spanish police crackdown on the banned independence referendum that left hundreds injured. Massive crowds filled the streets near the building, waving Catalan pro-independence flags, and chanting slogans.

PROTESTER, IRENE: [In Catalan] We have come here to show our renunciation of police repression and violence which have taken place these days in Catalonia. This is frustrating so we wanted to show our rejection of these actions by bringing flowers to the school because a school is for education, democracy. It is not for violence. That’s why we came here

PROTESTER, JAUME: [In Spanish] We are very tired of not being heard and when we try to vote by peaceful, calm and familiar manners we were met with violence. They used violence to take away ballot boxes, to remove votes and they didn´t let us vote in peace. It’s really sad. We are very sad and angered. We are afraid that this could get worse. I think it would be much easier to talk and do things right but at this point there’s no way out. We don’t have a way out.

JAISAL NOOR: As voters gathered outside polling stations on Sunday, October 1, to attempt to vote in a referendum that was declared unconstitutional by Madrid, Spanish police forcibly tried to close the voting centers.

Scenes of armored Spanish police swinging truncheons and firing rubber bullets at peaceful protestors have been widely condemned, with the European Union calling for talks to break the stalemate between Madrid and Barcelona. Pro-independence groups and trade unions in Catalonia called for a region-wide general strike for Tuesday, but the country’s largest unions rejected it, saying they did not back the reasons behind calling it. Stay tuned to therealnews.com for more on the story. This is Jaisal Noor.