In the short term, the police crackdown on the independence movement could help Catalan separatists, who are part of a fragile coalition in the regional government, broaden their support.
Crowds gathered outside the local headquarters of Spain’s ruling People’s Party (PP) and the Spanish national police headquarters in Barcelona, whistling and waving the red-and-yellow regional flag. “They are fleeing from hotel to hotel, they are like rats who have to hide”, said the spokesman for Spain’s main police union SUP, Ramon Cosio.
Puigdemont announced a commission to investigate Sunday’s violence and legal action against national police.
At least 33 police officers were also injured during the clashes.
FC Barcelona’s decision to play a home La Liga match against Las Palmas behind closed doors amid unrest surrounding the banned referendum on Catalan independence was the most responsible choice available, the club president said.
Puigdemont has yet to make a unilateral declaration of independence, instead calling for a period of reflection, leaving the door open for such a scenario.
The move would lead to large street protests and potential acts of vandalism against Spanish institutions across the region.
“The streets will always be ours”, protesters chanted.
“I am convinced this strike will be widely followed”, he said on Tuesday. Barcelona port was at a standstill, union sources were quoted as saying by the BBC.
Mr Puigdemont has said he wants a new understanding with the central government in Madrid, but the Spanish government has warned it could suspend autonomy of the wealthy north-eastern region. It’s obvious that we need mediation.
“I am here because I want Madrid to hear we are not exhausted and we will not accept to repeat the history of fascism”, Francesca Carbonell, a 30-year-old waitress in Barcelona, told ABC News.
European Union: According to The Washington Post, the European Union saw the independence referendum as a violation of Spanish law, and anxious about how the move would affect relations between Spain and Catalonia.
Catalan leader Carles Puigdemont lashed out Sunday at the violence used by Spain’s national police in dispersing people in Barcelona who wanted to vote.
Spain may take measures into its own hands now, The Washington Post reported.
It said the four will be questioned Friday about their roles in demonstrations September 20-21 in Barcelona, when Spanish police arrested several Catalan government officials and raided offices in a crackdown on preparations for the referendum.
“I believe that putting out polling booths is a basic democratic right and we are following a democratic road”, he said in a television address on Wednesday night.