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  • Thousands protest in support of Catalan independence.

    Thousands protest in support of Catalan independence. | Photo: Reuters

If charged, they could face up to 15 years in prison.

The Spanish government has filed a legal suit against Jordi Sanchez and Jordi Cuixart, leaders of the Catalan National Assembly and pro-independence groups, for sedition.

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If charged, they could face up to 15 years in prison.

The accusations follow mass protests in Barcelona on Wednesday, when an estimated 2,000 people allegedly vandalized Spanish National Police, CNP, patrol cars and temporarily blocked officers from leaving a government building.

Prosecutors are singling out these leaders, whose groups actively support Catalonia’s right to an independence vote on Oct. 1.

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. They also arrested 14 organizers of the vote, including several top Catalan government officials. 

Spain also ported two ships in Barcelona yesterday to serve as a temporary home for the 5,000 extra police who will patrol its streets in the days before the referendum.  

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. 

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