Things to Watch on Catalonia's Referendum

Posted September 24, 2017

They have also said the Catalan assembly would declare independence within 48 hours of a "yes" vote.

Catalonia's executive admitted Thursday that plans for an outlawed independence referendum had been dealt a major blow by a police crackdown, but vowed to press ahead, urging support from the worldwide community. Three ferries docked at Barcelona's port will provide accommodation for the extra officers.

Spain is deploying thousands more federal police to the Catalan region in an effort block an October 1 independence referendum it says is illegal, and the Constitutional Court has ordered suspended pending further legal review.

Williams also warned that the Spanish government will "not win the loyalty of people by sending in police, locking people up and banning demonstrations".

Catalan regional police officers stand in front of protesters who gathered in support of Catalan officials arrested in raids on government offices, outside a courthouse in Barcelona, Spain on September 22, 2017.

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"We denounce the attempt by the state to intervene in the police forces of Catalonia", Joaquim Forn, the head of Catalonia's interior department and the civilian head of the Catalan police, said Saturday, reading a statement on regional television.

Bigio warned that the incarceration by the central government of regional officials and protesters in Catalonia will inflame the tensions and make the independence seekers sure to go ahead with the secession plan. They occupied a central cloister near the offices of the dean and other university officials.

Hundreds of pro-independence supporters had protested outside the courthouse in the town of Hospitalet de Llobregat to demand the officials' release.

Despite the raids, arrests and accusations, Catalan Premier Carles Puigdemont is calling on pro-independence activists to continue to protest for the right to vote. The Constitutional Court has ordered it suspended while it studies its legality. The region has about 5.5 million eligible voters.

On the same day that the mass protest took place, the CNP raided several Catalan government offices using a court mandate, confiscating between nine and 10 million blank ballots to be used in the upcoming referendum.