“This Is Fascism”: Shocking Footage Of Spanish Police Firing Rubber Bullets, Brutally Beating Peaceful Voters | Zero Hedge
Update (10:30 am ET): The number of people injured in clashes between pro-independence voters and riot police dispatched to the restive region by the government in Madrid has climbed to 337, including at least 11 police officers, the Daily Star reports.
* * *
Update (10 am ET): In a statement condeming the Spanish government’s efforts to stamp out the “free expression” of the Catalan people, FC Barcelona announced that it will be playing today’s match against Las Palmas, its first of the season, behind closed doors after the Professional Football League refused to postpone it.
* * *
Update (9:15 am ET): So far, Catalonian emergency services says that 91 people have been injured in violent clashes between Catalonians trying to vote in today’s “illegal” independence, according to AFP.
Among the injured, 11 are police officers.
In scenes one would expect to see in Turkey, or some token third-world dictatorship, on Sunday morning Spanish riot police violently cracked down on the scheduled Catalan independence referendum, smashing their way into polling stations in Catalonia in a dramatic quest to shut down the banned Catalan independence referendum, as they fired rubber bullets and brutally beat peaceful people trying to vote for or against independence from a Spanish government, which many commentators this morning have called “fascist.”
— Fuad Alakbarov (@DrAlakbarov) October 1, 2017
Police fired rubber bullets in central Barcelona, El Periodico newspaper reported, at the intersection of two streets as violence erupted during the vote which has thrown Spain into its worst constitutional crisis for decades.
According to Reuters, Catalan emergency services said at least 38 people were hurt as a result of police action, although as the footage below shows the final number will likely be orders of magnitude greater.
As Conflicts creator Gissur Simonarson said, “Looking at the footage from Spain. It’s clear the policy got an order to break this up by any means. They are tossing ppl like rag dolls” adding that “The Spanish government has managed to turn me from indifferent/against #CatalanReferendum to a supporter.”
Police burst into the polling station in a town in Girona province minutes before Catalan leader Carles Puigdemont was due to vote there. They smashed glass panels to force open the door as voters, fists in the air, sang the Catalan anthem.
The referendum has been declared illegal by Spain’s central government in Madrid, which says the constitution states the country is indivisible and has drafted in thousands of police from around Spain into Catalonia to prevent the vote.
The Catalan regional government had scheduled voting to open at 9 a.m. (0700 GMT) at around 2,300 stations, but Madrid said on Saturday it had shut more than half of them. Voting started at some sites in the region of 7.5 million people, which has its own language and culture and is an industrial hub with an economy larger than that of Portugal. Leader Puigdemont changed plans and voted at a different station after the police action, the regional government said.
As Reuters adds, people had occupied some stations with the aim of preventing police from locking them down. Organizers smuggled in ballot boxes before dawn and urged voters to use passive resistance against police. In a school used as a polling station in Barcelona, police in riot gear carried out ballot boxes while would-be voters chanted “out with the occupying forces!” and “we will vote!”.