In a scene that appeared to belong in a repressive dictatorship rather than in a Western member state of the EU, Spanish riot police violently attacked hundreds of peaceful Catalonian citizens attempting to vote this morning.

The Catalonian people have shown overwhelmingly strong support for today’s referendum on independence from Spain. In response to up to a million Catalans taking to the streets in peaceful support of the vote, Spain sent massive cruise liners to house Spanish Riot police in the days leading up to the event, in addition to attempting to scour the area for hidden ballot boxes.

Journalist Glenn Greenwald wrote via Twitter:

Social media posts documenting Spanish Riot police bloodying senior citizens were provided in ZeroHedge’s ongoing coverage of the Catalan vote. Zerohedge also wrote: “…The ballot will have no legal status as it has been blocked by Spain’s Constitutional Court … Madrid could have led the referendum pass, declared it illegal, and soon most would forget…”

Zerohedge added: “Pro-independence Puigdemont originally said that if the “yes” vote won, the Catalan government would declare independence within 48 hours, but regional leaders have since acknowledged Madrid’s crackdown has undermined the vote. Perhaps now it is time for the liberal press to explain how sometimes democracy also dies in broad daylight.”

The Mayor of Barcelona, Ada Colau, also took to social media to express her disgust at the ongoing police violence:

Disobedient Media previously discussed the direct legacy of Franco in these events, including an image of the former dictator in the midst of the same fascist salute made today by Spanish supporters.

General Francisco Franco.
Image: PICTORIAL PRESS

Incredibly, supporters of Spain – who oppose the Catalonian independence movement – were heard earlier today singing a fascist anthem from the days of Franco. The Spaniards singing this anthem were seen to raise their hands in fascist salutes, familiar from the days of the dictator’s fascist regime.

Spanish Foreign Minister Alfonso Dastis Quecedo appeared to engage in a mind-boggling display of Orwellian doublespeak when he told RT that: “If there is disturbance, it will clearly be on the side of those advocating the referendum, that are adopting Nazi-like attitudes, by, you know, pointing at people who are against that referendum.

As Disobedient Media previously reported, Spain has a long history of authoritarian rule; in this light, the extreme measures taken by Spain to repress the Catalonian independence vote make more sense but are no less repulsive.

This author also noted that much mainstream press coverage of the events in Catalan featured Spanish protestors as their first image in their coverage. This was visible in reports by The Washington Post and others:

Wikileaks founder Julian Assange has provided ongoing coverage of the Catalan independence movement, and is now tweeting many videos and images of Spanish brutality. Assange wrote via Twitter:

“VIDEO: Peaceful voters sing and are then brutally attacked and shot with rubber bullets by Spanish police in today’s independence referendum

 The Guardian reported that: “Human Rights Watch has released a statement calling on Spanish authorities to respect citizens’ right to peaceful assembly and refrain from using excessive force.” It appears incredible to this writer that Spain would simultaneously describe Catalonians as Spaniards, while also brutalizing them and violently repressing their own citizen’s right to democratic expression.

 Shockingly, The Guardian also reported that “The European Union is yet to make an official comment.” That this violence could take place in an EU member nation without so much as comment from the EU is a deep indictment of Western pretenses to protection of free speech and Democracy.

Assange also posted this video of peaceful Catalans fleeing from riot police beating them with batons and shooting them directly with rubber bullets:

CNN reported earlier today:

“Regional government spokesperson Jordi Turull told a press conference in Barcelona two hours after polling began that despite the Spanish government’s efforts, 73% of the polling stations, 4,661 in total, were open.

He accused Madrid of being responsible for “a state violence unknown to Spain since the age of Franco,” referring to the former military dictator Francisco Franco who ruled the country with an iron fist for 36 years until 1975. Turull added that “the violation of fundamental rights in Catalonia is not an internal problem of Spain, it is an internal problem of the EU, and we Catalans are citizens of the EU.”

Wikileaks also wrote via Twitter:

Disobedient Media previously reported on the Spanish repression of the Catalonian independence movement in the days leading up to this referendum. In our previous reports this author noted the shocking lack of EU criticism of Spain’s actions towards Catalan.

In the multitude of social media posts documenting the brutality of Spanish police, it is evident that in virtually every case, Spanish police were beating non-violent, peaceful Catalans. This unreserved violence is absolutely horrific not only in and of itself, but because it is taking place in a supposedly democratic EU member-state.

The sound of rubber bullets echoed in the streets as protesters raised their hands, expressing nonviolence even in the face of batons and large rubber bullets fired at their heads, which bloodied many. Catalonians were pictured holding flowers in the face of Spanish oppression.

 The scenes unfolding this morning truly do appear to be something straight out of an authoritarian dictatorship of the variety so often facetiously condemned in U.S. media. That this level of blatant police violence is unashamedly taking place in a nation which is a member of the European Union, with very little comment from fellow EU member states and no official comment from the EU, is horrific. It betrays the notion that the EU and the West have retained any shred of moral high ground, or place value on concepts like ‘freedom’ or ‘democracy.’

The Catalan football team also expressed solidarity with the Catalonian independence voters, and will play their first game ever behind closed doors in protest of Spanish brutality.

Images of police brutality were shared widely on social media this morning:

Image Via Twitter
Image via Twitter

At the time of writing, The Guardian reports that 465 Catalans have been injured by Spanish riot police. This figure is expected to rise sharply in the coming hours, in light of reports from the area. Dozens of social media accounts have posted videos documented violence on the part of Spanish riot police against peaceful Catalonians attempting to vote, in some cases ripping ballots physically out of of people’s hands.

The violence in Spain appears ongoing; Disobedient Media will continue to provide coverage of the events as they unfold.

 

Co-Founder and Editor in Chief at Disobedient Media.