“Catalonia’s elected autonomous regional government, the Generalitat, had called the referendum after pro-independence parties were able to form an administration following elections in 2015.
The president of the province’s national assembly, Jordi Sànchez, on Wednesday morning called for “peaceful resistance” to the police operation.
“The time has come. We resist peacefully. We come out to defend our institutions with non-violence,” he said in a post on social media.
On Tuesday police searched for election material including ballot boxes, voting papers and campaign leaflets – raiding private courier companies in the process.
The Spanish national assembly on Wednesday rejected a motion to support the Spanish government’s heavy-handed response to the the referendum by 166 votes against to 158 in favor, after the centre-left opposition party PSOE teamed up with left-wingers Podemos and smaller separatist parties in the parliament.
After news of the raids broke on Wednesday, separatist political parties, as well as Podemos, cancelled all their planned political events for the rest of the day.
“It is unacceptable for there to be political prisoners in a European democracy. The Partido Popular leads us to an authoritarian regression that cannot be tolerated,” a spokesperson for Podemos said on social media.
Right-wing parties however endorsed the police operation. Ciudadanos leader Albert Rivera said he supported the raids because the Catalan government had “skipped the law and are trampling our rights”. A spokesperson for the ruling Partido Popular said that “the rule of law is stronger than those outside the law”.“
the independent referendum was lawful and non-violent… also, in case you needed anymore prove that police serves the state and not the people…