FC Barcelona To Join Catalan Independence Referendum Crackdown Protest

by Samuel Abasi Posted on October 3rd, 2017

“FC Barcelona joins the country wide strike called for by Table for Democracy and therefore the club will be closed tomorrow. None of the professional teams or the youth teams at FC Barcelona will train tomorrow.” Barca said in a statement on Monday.

Barcelona will join a strike called across Catalonia on Tuesday in protest at a violent crackdown by police of an independence referendum called by pro-separatist politicians for the region on Sunday.

Clashes as police fired rubber bullets and forced their way into polling stations, often violently removing activists, to confiscate ballots left at least 92 people confirmed injured out of a total of 844 who needed medical attention, according to Catalan authorities.

“We strongly condemn the violence carried out by the state’s security forces to impede the October 1 referendum,” said a 44-strong group of organisations, including leading unions, in calling the strike.

In light of the incidents, Barca played their match against Las Palmas behind closed doors on Sunday.

Barca president Josep Maria Bartomeu said the club made the decision as a protest against the violent clashes rather than security concerns.

Photo: FC Barcelona To Join Catalan Independence Referendum Crackdown Protest

The vast majority of Barcelona’s stars, including five-time World Player of the Year Lionel Messi and Gerard Pique, who has been an outspoken defender of Catalonia’s right to self-determination, wouldn’t have trained with Barca on Tuesday in any case as they are on international duty with their respective nations.

Catalan Authorities Report 90% Voted To Leave Spain In Independence Referendum

Catalan authorities report an overwhelming majority voted to leave Spain in the independence referendum, with 90 per cent of the over two million votes counted saying “yes”. Around 80% of polling stations managed to stay open.

Barcelona says around 2.26m people cast a ballot in the banned referendum despite the Civil Guard’s violent attempts to stop them.

This represents a turnout of about 42.3 per cent of Catalonia’s electorate of 5.34 million people.

The Catalan president, Carles Puigdemont, has welcomed the preliminary results.

He pressed ahead with the referendum despite opposition from the Spanish state and the region’s own high court.

Photo: Catalan Authorities Report 90% Voted To Leave Spain

At least 844 people have been injured in a day of violence which saw police in riot gear firing rubber bullets at crowds and beating people who attempted to cast their votes.

The Spanish government has said the referendum was illegal and Spanish Prime Minister Mariano Rajoy defiantly told reporters “there was no independence referendum today”.

He claimed the Catalan people have been tricked into taking part in an illegal vote accused the regional government of using the referendum as a strategy against legality and democratic harmony and was a “path that leads to nowhere”.

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