Spanish nationwide police have sealed off 1,300 of two,315 colleges in Catalonia designated as polling stations for the banned independence referendum, the federal government in Madrid says.
The transfer got here because the Spanish authorities stepped up their makes an attempt to cease Sunday’s referendum.
Police have now occupied the regional authorities’s telecommunications centre.
Catalonia, a rich area of seven.5 million individuals in north-eastern Spain, has its personal language and tradition.
It has a excessive diploma of autonomy, however will not be recognised as a separate nation beneath the Spanish structure.
Tens of 1000’s of individuals are anticipated to vote in Sunday’s poll, which has been declared unlawful by Spain’s Constitutional Courtroom.
The authorities in Madrid have despatched 1000’s of police to the area to cease it going down.
They’ve been ordered to clear colleges occupied by activists – together with mother and father and their kids who remained within the buildings after the top of classes on Friday – aiming to make sure the buildings can be utilized for voting.
Officers from the Catalan regional police have been instructed to help, but additionally instructed to not use power.
A authorities supply quoted by Reuters information company mentioned 163 colleges had been occupied by households.
Officers have have additionally been seizing gadgets resembling poll papers, whereas prosecutors have ordered the closure of internet sites linked to the vote and the arrest of officers organising the referendum.
Catalan chief Carles Puigdemont instructed Reuters information company that the referendum would go forward.
“All the things is ready on the greater than 2,000 voting factors so that they have poll bins and voting slips, and have every little thing individuals want to specific their opinion,” he mentioned.
Friday noticed 1000’s of Catalan separatists maintain a closing rally within the metropolis of Barcelona.
However within the city of L’Hospitalet de Llobregat, some 2,000 individuals against independence attended a rally referred to as by Ciudadanos, Catalonia’s essential opposition celebration.
Friday additionally noticed a decide order media big Google to take away an software giving details about the outlawed referendum.
Strain for a vote on self-determination has grown over the previous 5 years however within the 2015 regional election, gained by an alliance of pro-independence events, about 40% of voters backed events loyal to Spain.
Spanish unionists argue Catalonia already enjoys broad autonomy inside Spain, together with different areas just like the Basque Nation and Galicia.