Catalan referendum: Activists occupy school ahead of vote

Catalan referendum: Activists occupy school ahead of vote
Here's what you need to know about the Spain/Catalonia independence referendum
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13:00 GMTHundreds gathered in Barcelona, the capital city of Catalonia, on Saturday to protest the upcoming independence vote.

Here's what you need to know about the Spain/Catalonia independence referendum

Spanish ambassador to UK calls Catalan referendum a 'coup d'etat'

Laia, a 41-year-old sociologist who is staying in a Barcelona school this evening, said the police had visited four times.Even one of Rajoy’s closest EU allies, European Parliament president Antonio Tajani, has refused to explicitly back him and instead called for more dialogue — suggesting Rajoy hasn’t done enough to find a solution.

“All polling stations will be in place — even if someone tries to stop it, citizens will still be able to vote,” Oriol Junqueras, Catalan economy vice president, said.

Catalonia pushes ahead with independence referendum Live updates

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Catalan police already have sealed off 1,300 polling stations, or more than half of the 2,315 locations. In 163 polling stations, people continue to occupy the premises. Those people were given until 6 a.m. Sunday to leave.
Powerful Germany is playing it safe.“What they are pushing is not democracy. It is a mockery of democracy, a travesty of democracy,” he added.
“[It is] a Spanish problem in which we can do little. It’s a problem of respecting Spanish laws that Spaniards have to resolve,” said European Parliament President Antonio Tajani.

So, too, Catalonia’s desire to pull away from the rest of Spain, of which it’s been a part since the 15th century, when King Ferdinand of Aragon married Queen Isabella of Castile and united their realms. Today, Catalonia is one of Spain’s economic engines, and Barcelona, its capital, is the country’s leading destination for tourists. So independence advocates have a legitimate claim that Catalonia gives more than it gets from the rest of the country.

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Europe wary but muted ahead of Catalonia's independence vote

Spanish ambassador to UK calls Catalan referendum a 'coup d'etat'
Spanish ambassador to UK calls Catalan referendum a 'coup d'etat'

: Barcelona erupts in protest as Spanish police arrest Catalan officials ahead of banned independence vote

Timeline of recent events in Catalonia's independence drive

It remained unclear how many polling stations will open. Spain said on Saturday that only 163 voting sites were occupied, far below the 2,315 stations that Catalonian officials had promised. And no one knows what the police will do if, on Sunday morning, the people inside refuse to leave.

Catalonia referendum defies Spanish obstruction

The pain in Spain's not easy to explain
The pain in Spain's not easy to explain

*With files from the Canadian and the Associated Presses. 

“That is the rule of law – you abide by the law and the constitution even if you don’t like it,” he said.

Europe is watching “a slow-motion, low-cost coup d’etat” by the Catalan government.In many locations, the police made repeated visits to warn the people inside that they would have to leave by 6 a.m. on Sunday.

“The referendum is not legal and has no international support, no electoral union, no ballot papers, no census, no tables, and today we also know that there is no electronic count of the possible results,” according to de Vigo.He said: ‘The only thing that is clear to me is that I won’t use violence. If they tell me I can’t be in a public school to exercise my democratic rights, they will have to take me out of here. I won’t resist, but they will have to carry me out.’

Police close voting centres before Catalan referendum

“The police have been four times,” said Laia, a 41-year-old sociologist at a school in central Barcelona where around 100 children were playing and 80 people were planning to stay the night while neighbours brought food.

A woman waving a Spanish national flag blocks the path of a bus as thousands packed the central Cibeles square in Madrid, Spain, Saturday, Sept. 30, 2017. Thousands of pro-Spanish unity supporters donning Spanish flags have rallied in a central Madrid plaza to protest the Catalan regional government’s drive to separate from Spain. (AP Photo/Paul White)He said: ‘I trust in the common sense of Catalans and that people will operate with prudence.’Pique has been jeered by Spain fans during home matches in recent years both for his jibes at Barcelona club rival Real Madrid and his support of the push for a secession referendum in Catalonia.

Parents supporting the referendum are camping out over the weekend at schools that are among the 2,315 designated voting facilities to keep police from them shutting down.José says he protested and voted in a referendum in favour of more autonomy for Catalonia, before Spain’s courts blocked the initiative, at the behest of the Popular Party, in 2010.

In a sign of how the breakaway attempt is fiercely opposed elsewhere in Spain, rallies took place outside town halls in major cities including Cordoba, Malaga and Zaragoza. A pro-unity crowd also gathered in the Catalan capital Barcelona.
“There isn’t a consensus in order to change the Spanish constitution, so this is why the Catalan government goes unilaterally.He said: ‘Friends, so that victory is definite, on Sunday let’s dress up in referendum (clothes) and leave home prepared to change history.’

A referendum that is scheduled to take place Sunday will allow residents of Catalonia, the region that includes Barcelona, to vote on whether to declare their independence from Spain. Catalans have their own culture and language, and for the past two years, their political leadership has been promising citizens a vote. Spain’s Prime Minister, Mariano Rajoy, has said such a ballot would be invalid and in violation of Spain’s constitution.Media playback is unsupported on your device Media captionTom Burridge reports from one of the designated polling stations for the banned independence referendum Police have also been ordered to clear schools occupied by activists aiming to ensure the buildings can be used for voting.Here’s a look at how other European countries — and Venezuela’s outspoken leader — view the situation in Catalonia:

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Share on Twitter Share via Email View more sharing options Share on LinkedIn Share on Pinterest Share on Google+ Share on WhatsApp Share on Messenger Close Patrick Wintour Diplomatic editorThousands of Catalans are marching in downtown Barcelona in defense of Spanish unity and against a disputed referendum on the region’s independence that separatist politicians want to hold Sunday.

been blocked by Spain’s constitutional court. Madrid has sent thousands of police to the north-eastern region to stop it taking place.

—Sept. 30: Police give activists and parents occupying schools in Catalonia so they can be used as polling stations for the Oct. 1 vote an ultimatum to leave by 6 a.m. on Oct. 1.

The Catalan government is pressing ahead with a referendum in the face of obstruction by the Spanish executive, judiciary and the police. The Catalan parliament has declared that the result will be binding, but the Spanish government says it is illegal.BARCELONA (Reuters) – Spanish police monitored schools earmarked as polling stations and occupied the Catalan government’s communications hub on Saturday in an effort to prevent a banned independence referendum which has divided Spain.

Tensions high as Catalonia readies for disputed independence vote

th century under a military government run by Francisco Franco, Sergi Mainer explained to Al-Jazeera news.

Pique posted a message on social media on Thursday calling for people in Spain’s northeastern region of Catalonia to participate peacefully in today’s vote that police have been ordered by courts to stop.

Police seal polling stations ahead of Catalan referendum

—2010: Spain’s Madrid-based constitutional Court strikes down key parts of the 2006 charter, inadvertently breathing new life into the secession movement. Some 1 million Catalans voice their anger in a march through Barcelona. Pro-independence parties win a regional election.

Spanish police move in to stop banned Catalan independence referendum

—Sept. 20: Spanish police arrest a dozen Catalan officials for organizing the independence referendum, sparking mass street protests. Police seize 10 million ballot papers in a crackdown.

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Does Catalonia want to leave Spain? Spain’s distinctive north-eastern region Will the vote go ahead?Officers have been visiting the locations due to be used as polling stations, as well as seizing items such as ballot papers, while prosecutors have ordered the closure of websites linked to the vote and the arrest of officials organising the referendum.

Here's what you need to know about the Spain/Catalonia independence referendum
Here's what you need to know about the Spain/Catalonia independence referendum

Officials say the Spanish crackdown could make the difference this time. Catalan Vice-President Oriol Junqueras said six out of 10 Catalans were expected to vote, according to the regional government’s polling.Nov. 9,  2014 – Catalonia’s first attempt at a referendum. The non-binding symbolic vote garnered only a 37 per cent turnout, but 80 per cent of voters asked for independence.Spanish police block polls to try to prevent Catalan independence referendum

Police Seal Off 1300 Polling Stations in Catalonia, Resistance Continues

“A lot of things have been said, and at the end there will be violence,” Mr. Satue said.

Spanish court orders Google to remove app giving details of Catalonia independence referendum

Giles reported from Madrid. Aritz Parra contributed from Barcelona.

10:10 GMTCatalans have set up camps in local schools, which are to become polling stations on Sunday. The locals are trying to prevent Spanish police from sealing off the facilities, as the law enforcers have been ordered to clear the sites.“We are open to dialogue within the framework of the law. As you would understand nobody can ask us … to engage in dialogue outside the framework of the law. It’s impossible,” he said. “No European political leader can even consider dealing with an issue that is not in [Spanish] government hands."

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