• Chandler Allen

Violence breaks out during Catalan vote

On Saturday, Oct. 1, 2017, Catalonia, a province of Spain, held a vote for independence which ended with police "smash[ing] their way into some polling locations and beat[ing] back voters with batons," leading to a "political and constitutional crisis," according to CNN.

Around 42 percent of the population turned out, and 90 percent voted in favor of independence; however, National Spanish Police arrived in riot gear to stop the vote, according to CNN.

Riot police "raided polling stations, dragged away voters and fired rubber bullets"; 893 people were injured, according to CNN. This interference in the voting process occurred despite the country being a democracy.

Mariano Rajoy, who has been Prime Minister since 2011, sent in these National Police in riot gear to break apart the vote because it is “against the Spanish constitution,” according to the LA Times.

According to amnesty.org, police "also fired rubber balls at demonstrators who were running after them, wounding at least two people. Reportedly, one person was hit in the leg and the other in the right eye; the second victim underwent surgery at Saint Paul Hospital, where he remains today.”

Authorities arrested 14 Catalan officials. If the situation escalates more, Spain may put the area under martial law, according to to the L.A Times.

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