Catalans protests Spain’s effort to thwart independence vote

Students cheer fire officers as they drive through the crowd during a protest against the violence that marred yesterday's referendum vote outside the University on October 2, 2017 in Barcelona, Spain. Catalonia's government met Monday to discuss plans to declare independence after the results of yesterday's disputed referendum.

Dan Kitwood/Getty Images Students cheer fire officers as they drive through the crowd during a protest against the violence that marred yesterday’s referendum vote outside the University on October 2, 2017 in Barcelona, Spain. Catalonia’s government met Monday to discuss plans to declare independence after the results of yesterday’s disputed referendum.

A general strike brought much of Spain’s Catalonia region to a standstill on Tuesday as unions and other pro-separatist groups protested the national government’s attempts to thwart Sunday’s independence referendum. Trade unions, businesses, schools, transport networks, police, and even the region’s successful soccer team FC Barcelona participated in the one-day strike. Nearly 900 people were injured when riot police tried to drive away voters using rubber bullets and batons during the vote, and stormed polling stations to seize ballot boxes. Regional government leader Carles Puigdemont said Monday he considered the vote binding, and vowed to take the results favoring secession to the Catalonian Parliament within days. Madrid says the referendum violated the nation’s constitution.

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