Extra police sent to stop referendum in Catalonia, Spain

Extra police sent to stop referendum in Catalonia, Spain

An unusual aspect of his is that three ferries have been bringing police into the city of Barcelona en masse, and all are festooned with Looney Tunes characters, part of a promotion being run by the company that owns the ferries.

"Madrid should allow some constitutional change; so, the Catalans could have the right to vote and Madrid should try to convince the Catalans to stay in Spain".

In Barcelona, several thousand protesters flooded the streets for a second day running after police detained key members of the team organizing the October 1 vote.

Catalonia's regional parliament, which is controlled by pro-independence parties, has called a referendum for October 1, but the Spanish government has declared the vote illegal.

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Also on Friday, a Catalan regional judge ordered the release with restrictions of six people arrested on Wednesday in a crackdown on referendum preparations.

"You", said Rajoy, speaking to the Catalan separatist government "are making a mistake and you are going to force us to go where we don't want to go", he said last week in a televised speech at a ruling Popular Party meeting.

A demonstrator holds up a banner reading "We vote to be free" as she tries with others to stop the vehicle carrying Xavier Puig, a senior official of the Catalan government, after he was arrested by Guardia Civil officers in Barcelona, Sept. 20.

Spain's central government says the planned referendum violates Spain's constitution.

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Hundreds of people gathered to protest the raids and shout pro-independence slogans outside offices in the region's capital, Barcelona.

The university's administration responded to the rallies saying that the students could be in the building of the educational institution until their protest remained peaceful and the property of the university remained undamaged.

The region's police forces - the Spanish civil guard, national police, and Catalan police (Mossos d'Esquadra) - are to be directed by Diego Perez de Cobos, a Spanish civil guard colonel, as announced by Catalonia's top public prosecutor. The Constitutional Court has ordered it suspended while it studies its legality.

The region has about 5.5 million eligible voters, and polls consistently show the region's inhabitants favour a referendum but are roughly evenly divided over independence from Spain.

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