Catalan independence referendum: Hundreds injured as police crackdown Watch

MrDystopia
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Catalan officials say at least 761 people have been injured in clashes as police try to prevent voting in Catalonia's independence referendum.

The Spanish government has pledged to stop a poll that was declared illegal by the country's constitutional court.

Police officers are preventing people from voting, and seizing ballot papers and boxes at polling stations.

In the regional capital Barcelona, police used batons and fired rubber bullets during pro-referendum protests.

The toll of injured was confirmed by a spokesman for the Catalan regional government, as well as the region's health department. Separately, the Spanish interior ministry said 11 police officers had been injured.

At a press conference, Spain's Deputy Prime Minister Soraya Saenz de Santamaria said police had "acted with professionalism and in a proportionate way".

http://www.bbc.co.uk/news/world-europe-41461032

http://www.bbc.co.uk/news/world-europe-41457238

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Not gonna lie, when you see some of the Twitter videos coming out, of riot police manhandling the civilians, in some cases the elderly, you have to wonder how such an assessment can be cited as 'acting with professionalism and in a proportionate way'.

On a wider view, what are your thoughts on the issue as a whole? Does anyone believe the Catalan people have a right to seek independence, or should they be listening to the central Spanish government's call for no such thing?
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username1221160
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The response of the Spanish government over the last few weeks and the heavy handed behaviour of their police is a fine example of how not to quell an independence movement.
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SCIENCE :D
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Does Democracy not exist anymore?
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shawn_o1
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Why can't Spain be like Britain and give more autonomy to those regions that don't consider themselves Spanish? Oh yeah that didn't stop Scotland from trying to go for independence
Either way will the EU recognise a newly formed state within its frontiers?
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MrDystopia
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(Original post by shawn_o1)
Either way will the EU recognise a newly formed state within its frontiers?
On 7 September, Antonio Tajani, the President of the European Parliament, stated in a letter to Spanish MEP Beatriz Becerra (UPyD) that the constitutional order of each EU member state needed to be respected at all times. He also stated that if a territory would secede from a EU member state, it would become a third country with respect to the EU and the EU treaties would no longer apply there.

On 14 September, the President of the European Commission, Jean-Claude Juncker, said that the EU "would follow and respect the rulings of the Spanish constitutional court and parliament." Further, while the EU would respect the choice if a “yes” for Catalan independence were to come to pass, Juncker stated that Catalonia could not become an EU member the day after the vote.

Make of that what you will, but for a lot of nations, they seemed to have erred on the side of 'please respect the Spanish constitution'. So whether they recognise said state, I've no idea. Certainly, if Catalonia were to become independent, as stated above they would have to go through the process of applying to join the EU just like any other nation.


(Original post by Quantex)
The response of the Spanish government over the last few weeks and the heavy handed behaviour of their police is a fine example of how not to quell an independence movement.
Indeed, I'm not wrong in thinking what is shown here http://www.bbc.co.uk/news/av/world-e...d-in-barcelona was completely uncalled for right? I'm sure I didn't see anything to provoke the police to start attacking there (unless something was said, but even then, it's not 'proportionate').
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JonDu31
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I saw a picture of an elderly woman, possibly in her late 70s, covered in blood. I've seen Catalonian firefighters defending voters pummeled by Spanish police officers.

It can only get worse before it gets better.
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NX172
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I don't see why they need to send Riot Police down to stop people expressing their voices. Police Brutality is almost certainly going to happen. If the referendum is 'illegal' the Spanish Government needn't act on the result anyway. I feel it's very embarrassing for the Spanish Government to make a move that can only be seen as anti-democratic, even more so that the Guardian Civil claim that they are acting professionally and in a proportionate way. There's overwhelming video evidence to say otherwise. Who are they trying to fool?

I don't see what other options the Catalans have. It's a conflict of interest so it's not like the Spanish Government would simply allow them to have a 'legal' referendum. At least the whole world can now see how fascist the Spanish Government are. Where peaceful voting is illegal but the breaking of public property and unprovoked beating of children and the elderly is apparently fine.

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Ninja Squirrel
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I don't understand why they cannot vote for independence... What laws are they violating?
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Stalin
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(Original post by Ninja Squirrel)
I don't understand why they cannot vote for independence... What laws are they violating?
This isn't about the law - it's about the government potentially losing 20% of the country's GDP, and a potential referendum in the Basque Country.
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Ninja Squirrel
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(Original post by Mathemagicien)
The constitution.
So what do they have to do to qualify for a referendum?
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Ninja Squirrel
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(Original post by Mathemagicien)
The Spanish have to vote to allow it, IIRC.

It is a literal democracy, after all; can't just have a minority of people deciding that they know better than the rest!
Ah I see so in the case of the Scottish referendum everyone got to vote, not just the Scots. I guess that's why the Kurdish referendum is also being treated as illegal by the Iraqi government?
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sdotd
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The referendum shouldn't happen as it is illegal but bloody hell. The spainish govt has messed up here badly with the violence. All they had to do was ignore the result
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limetang
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(Original post by Mathemagicien)
The Spanish have to vote to allow it, IIRC.

It is a literal democracy, after all; can't just have a minority of people deciding that they know better than the rest!
So, putting all my cards on the table I know nothing about the Spanish constitution and what regional governments can and cannot Do In Spain, but. I still don’t quite understand why the Catalonian government cannot hold this vote. Sure I understand that it cannot legally be considered a referendum but it seems ... odd that the Spanish government can stop what is essentially people holding an elaborate opinion poll.
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NX172
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(Original post by Mathemagicien)
The Spanish have to vote to allow it, IIRC.

It is a literal democracy, after all; can't just have a minority of people deciding that they know better than the rest!
They know what's good for them and they want out. The 'rest of them' are Spanish people, not Catalan people. There'll always be a conflict of interest if they need permission from opposers and thus would never be granted the referendum they desire.
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Stalin
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(Original post by Ninja Squirrel)
Ah I see so in the case of the Scottish referendum everyone got to vote, not just the Scots. I guess that's why the Kurdish referendum is also being treated as illegal by the Iraqi government?
The referendum in Iraqi Kurdistan is being dismissed because it may prompt referendums in Iran, Turkey and Syria.

Since the removal of Saddam, Iraq has been an Iranian vassal, and the mullahs in Tehran will never allow Iraqi Kurdistan to become independent due to their fears that the large number of ethnic minorities in Iran - Azeris, Kurds, and Arabs - may ask for referendums of their own.

If the Iraqi Kurds unilaterally declare independence you can expect the Iranian and Turkish militaries to 'restore order'.
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MrDystopia
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(Original post by Stalin)
The referendum in Iraqi Kurdistan is being dismissed because it may prompt referendums in Iran, Turkey and Syria.

Since the removal of Saddam, Iraq has been an Iranian vassal, and the mullahs in Tehran will never allow Iraqi Kurdistan to become independent due to their fears that the large number of ethnic minorities in Iran - Azeris, Kurds, and Arabs - may ask for referendums of their own.

If the Iraqi Kurds unilaterally declare independence you can expect the Iranian and Turkish militaries to 'restore order'.
Do you think it would've helped public perception (i.e in Spain's favour) if they had just let the referendum going ahead and followed Iraq's example of simply declaring it illegal and ignoring it? The heavy handed approach of riot police attacking voters, seizing ballot boxes and occupying schools will have done the Spanish case no good in helping public opinion swing towards Spain, at least from the wider international public I feel.
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Stalin
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(Original post by MrDystopia)
Do you think it would've helped public perception (i.e in Spain's favour) if they had just let the referendum going ahead and followed Iraq's example of simply declaring it illegal and ignoring it? The heavy handed approach of riot police attacking voters, seizing ballot boxes and occupying schools will have done the Spanish case no good in helping public opinion swing towards Spain, at least from the wider international public I feel.
The situations are different: the referendum in Iraqi Kurdistan is being ignored because if the Iraqi Kurds declare independence they will find themselves at war with Iran, Iraq, Turkey and Syria without the support of the Americans and therefore they won't; if the Catalans hold a referendum which international observers deem legitimate, and they declare independence, the genie will be out of the bottle so to speak.

Contrary to popular belief, this is the best course of action for the Spanish government because its side cannot win in a debate, and will face severe ramifications if it sends in the army to 'restore order' after a legitimate referendum.

Physically preventing the Catalans from voting is its last roll of the dice. The interesting part is whether or not the Catalans will accept the government's move, because this will also have angered Catalans who wish to remain part of Spain. Mass riots and protests throughout Catalonia? Very likely. Scuffles between protesters and riot police? Very likely. An independent Catalonia in 2017? Extremely unlikely unless there are dead Catalans in the streets.
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AstroNandos
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I've seen videos of riot police full on pulling a woman's hair to move her, riot police proper smashing people with batons and basicslly just OTT aggression. Had a look on twitter hours ago and it's probably even worse, surely this will make people more pro independence??
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shameful_burrito
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Only posting here because I was watching the Barça game and the stadium was empty
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