Catalans defy Spain and vote on independence, clashing with police

The New York Times reports: Defying the Spanish authorities, tens of thousands of Catalans turned out to vote on Sunday in a banned independence referendum, clashing with police officers sent from outside the region to shut down polling stations and confiscate ballots.

The police in some places used rubber bullets and truncheons to disperse voters, many of whom had spent the night inside polling stations to ensure that they would remain open.

The police crackdown left 38 people wounded — nine of whom were hospitalized — by early afternoon, according to the Catalan emergency services. Madrid-based newspapers reported that 11 police officers had also suffered injuries.

Even as Spanish security forces intensified the clampdown, the Catalan authorities maintained that voting was proceeding in almost three-quarters of polling stations. [Continue reading…]

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