"This Is Fascism": Shocking Footage Of Spanish Police Firing Rubber Bullets, Brutally Beating Peaceful Voters

from ZeroHedge:

Update (5:30 pm ET): Though the results of today's referendum have yet to be announced, separatists in Catalonia are urging the government to declare independence from Spain, citing today's violent crackdown as the reason. In a rousing speech following the close of voting, Carles Puigdemont, the leader of the Catalan government, said its citizens had earned the right to form an independent state and said the results of the referendum, which are not yet known, will be sent to the local parliament to be ratified.

Though the central government in Spain declared the refendum illegal, and send federal Civil Guard and National Police forces to try and suppress the vote, police only managed to shut down a small sliver of polling stations, allowing many in the region of more than 7 million people which has a larger economy than Portugal, to cast ballots.

In public remarks delivered following a speech from Spanish Prime Minister Mariano Rajoy, Puigdemont said that "with this day of hope and suffering, the citizens of Catalonia have won the right to an independent state in the form a republic." He also said that the EU could no longer “continue to look the other way” from human rights violations around the referendum, according to a translation in the Guardian.

"The Spanish government has today written a shameful page in its relationship with Catalonia," adding that there had been abuses of human rights committed by Spanish police.

Puigdemont added that he will keep his pledge to declare independence unilaterally if the "Yes" side wins. A law passed by the Catalan parliament says a win of more than 50% for the "Yes" side will trigger a declaration of independence within 48 hours of the vote regardless of the turnout. He appealed to European leaders, saying the Catalan crisis was "no longer an internal Spanish matter".

"The Catalan government will transmit to the Catalan Parliament, the seat and expression of the sovereignty of our people, the results of the referendum, so that it can act according to that laid out in the referendum law", he said.

Spain's Constitutional Court suspended the regional law governing the independence referendum, but Puigdemont's government pushed ahead with the vote anyway, as the Associated Press noted.

So far, 844 people have been injured, including 33 police, in the day's demonstrations.

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