The dramatic crackdown by the Spanish Federal Police in an attempt to prevent the Catalan referendum on independence from taking place has triggered a general strike from the workers in the embattled region.
The public transport service in Barcelona is at half service level as a result of the general site. The port of Barcelona was essentially shut down. Barcelona’s farm district, the agrarian sector, was shut down as well as more and more Catalans appear to be joining the strike.
The strike was called by numerous Labor Unions, as well as many pro-independent organizations. The strike was called in direct protest to the police brutality leveled at the Spanish Federal police, who were seen in numerous videos striking people with batons, pulling people around by the hair and even, at one point, attacking firefighters who had attempted to protect the people from the attacks by the Spanish Federal Police
The resolve of the Catalan leaders has only hardened, with numerous leaders now calling for the region to declare independence as a result of a referendum in which those who voted chose independence by a 92% to 8% super majority.
While the Spanish government has declared the referendum illegal and invalid, Carles Puidhemont, the President of Catalonia’s Generaltat, has declared that Catalans have chosen independence.
He spoke of the actions of the Spanish Federal police as shocking, and said the world itself was shocked by the “unjustified abusive and severe police violence committed by the Spanish government.
The EU Parliament Vice President, Ramón Luis Valcárcel, tweeted out, ”Today we have witnessed a nationalistic propaganda act, undemocratic; a coup attempt against Spanish democracy, and so a coup against Europe.”
He added, “Dominant narrative (propaganda) goes: Catalan people oppressed by Spanish State. But truth is: majority of Catalans oppressed by Catalan govt.”
Rallies have been planned by Port workers in front of the regional headquarters of Spain’s ruling party, the Popular Party. Firefighters are also planning a rally outside the Interior Ministry’ regional offices in Barcelona.
Numerous spontaneous protests have also been happening outside the polling stations where the referendum vote took place.
Protests were also to be staged outside polling stations where police acted with force to try to prevent Sunday’s poll being held.
Today, there appears to have been thousands of protesters that have taken to the streets in numerous towns and cities across Catalonia.
At this moment, it appears that the actions by the Spanish government to quell the Catalan call for independence has only fanned the flames of the movement and strengthened the resolve of the supporters of Catalan independence.