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  • Members of Catalan National Assembly (ANC) carry signs that read, "Yes", and an Estelada (Catalan separatist flag) during a protest.

    Members of Catalan National Assembly (ANC) carry signs that read, "Yes", and an Estelada (Catalan separatist flag) during a protest. | Photo: Reuters

Over the past month, the Spanish government has led a massive crackdown on the Catalan province’s right to vote.

In the continued crackdown of Catalonia’s independence referendum — slated to take place on October 1 — the Spanish government Wednesday ordered that no public buildings be used as polling stations.

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The Superior Court of Catalonia ordered police to abide by the order, which applies to Spain's national police, the Guardia civil police force, as well as Catalonia's regional police force, the Mossos d'Esquadra.

The prosecutor also ordered all police forces to prevent people from voting on the day of the referendum.

Just a day earlier, Catalonia's chief prosecutor had ordered the Mossos to close off buildings that will serve as polling stations.

Stickers in favor of the banned referendum | Photo: Reuters

Mossos, however, warned that such a move "could lead to undesirable consequences.”

"These consequences refer to public security and to the more than foreseeable risk of a disruption of public order that this may generate,” they tweeted Wednesday.

Students chat in favor of the banned independence referendum. | Photo: Reuters

Mossos’ some 16,800 officers have now found themselves caught between allegiance to Catalan leaders who are pushing ahead with the vote, and their duty to obey the law.

That same day, high school students began a strike against the crackdown, with university students set to strike on Thursday.

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Over the past month, the Spanish government has led massive crackdowns on the Catalan province’s right to vote.

Conservative Prime Minister Mariano Rajoy and his administration have tried several measures, including illegally confiscating nearly 10 million ballot sheets from Catalan government offices, arresting and fining 14 high-office government officials for organizing the vote and threatening to suspend budget funds to the province.

Each time, Catalan citizens and residents have answered with protests insisting they be allowed to vote on the matter. Recent polls by the Catalan government showed that while only half of citizens preferred to leave the Spanish union, 70 percent want the opportunity to vote.

Carles Puigdemont, the president of the Generalitat of Catalonia, has called a security meeting between the central government and Catalan officials.


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