People voting in various polling stations despite Spanish police violence
Amidst images of violence, Catalans are still voting – including Catalan president, vice president, and Minister of Foreign Affairs
After days, months, years of chanting “Votarem,” or “We will vote,” Catalans wanting to vote in the October 1 independence referendum are doing just that. Although it is proving to be very difficult. Spanish riot police have raided several polling stations and even fired rubber bullets and injured voters.
Amidst images of violence, Catalans are defying all odds and still turning up. Among those who already cast their ballot, there is Catalan president Carles Puigdemont, vice president Oriol Junqueras, and Minister of Foreign Affairs Raul Romeva. Junqueras said the referendum results "will be valid".
In an effort to keep schools operational and functional as polling stations, citizens occupied educational centers with incremental presence starting last night. More and more individuals arrived at 5am this morning.
Voters were indeed organized. Throughout the thousands of spaces planned to be polling stations, individuals mobilized to smuggle in ballot boxes, ballots, and to impede law enforcement from arriving. The polls that have managed to open plan to stay operational until 8pm. Others dismantled by Spanish police are planning to open again as officers leave. The Catalan government has announced that citizens will be able to vote in any polling station in the country as the executive has created a general census available from every station.