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  • Students gather to protest police brutality.

    Students gather to protest police brutality. | Photo: AFP

Published 3 October 2017

Unions called for the action due to "the grave violation of rights and freedoms" by the Spanish police during the referendum.

A general strike is underway in Catalonia in response to the Spanish government's abuse against Catalan independence referendum voters Sunday.

EU Says Catalonia's Independence Referendum Was 'Not Legal'

The work stoppage was organized by 40 unions, including the General Union of Workers and Workers' Commissions, which encompass construction, education, service, and sanitation, among other labor sectors within the region.

Due to "the grave violation of rights and freedoms," the unions said in a statement, "We call all society, on employers' organizations, business owners, unions, workers, self-employed workers, institutions and all the citizens of Catalonia to stop the 'country'."

The Catalan government approved a "go-slow," allowing public transport services to operate at 25 percent capacity during morning and evening rush hour.

In addition, 80 percent of all Barcelona municipal workers are on strike, and nearly 100 percent of the Catalan government offices are closed, including schools and museumsThe soccer club FC Barcelona is also supporting the strike.

Thousands of people are gathered in front of the University of Barcelona. Reports from 20 Minutes in Barcelona say that thousands of people are protesting in front of the National Police station, the Catalan Parliament, as well as the General Assembly. Protesters are also yelling, “Let us act” in front of hotels where several national police officers are staying in response to their abuse of independence voters.

Some 30,000 protesters are in the streets of Girona, north of Barcelona. The Girona Lawyer’s College representative, Carles McCragh said that the protests and Sunday’s vote demonstrate, "we want to be free and for our community to be respected.”

Catalonia Dreaming?

Meanwhile, in Madrid, around 400 members of the national police came out in support of the police actions in Catalan.

The representative of the Catalan provincial police, Mossos Squad, said the squad was “proud” they acted “with precision” on Sunday and kept order around Catalan, but avoided the extreme “unilateral” measures taken by the National Police and Civil Guard against Sunday’s voters.

The leader of Spain’s Socialist Party Pedro Sanchez said today he thinks Spain’s Prime Minister Mariano Rajoy should be “censured” for commanding the police crackdown on voters and repressing the referendum. Several congressional parties, including the leftist Unidos Podemos, are set to meet tomorrow in a “political party roundtable” to discuss possible solutions to the Catalan situation.

PSOE has refused to take part in tomorrow’s dialogues. Podemos said during a press conference that it is taking up the motion to oust Rajoy from his post for being “a commander of repression" and not being able to “lead through dialogue.”

Catalonia's leader said 90 percent of voters backed independence from Spain in a referendum on Sunday where more than 840 people were injured.

A man being expressive among Catalans gathered on Oct. 3, 2017. Photo: Reuters
A Large crowd gathers for the Oct. 3, 2017, post-referendum protest. Photo: Reuters
A section of the crowd protesting police brutality on Oct. 3, 2017. Photo: Reuters

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