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Spain’s Guardia Civil confiscates 1.4 million referendum posters from warehouses

Citizens organize to hang and share posters in response


18 September 2017 11:53 AM


Guifré Jordan | Barcelona

Spain’s Guardia Civil military police force confiscated more than a million referendum-related posters and leaflets this Sunday and Monday. Officers raided a distribution center in the Barcelona area on Sunday and seized 1.3 million posters. The material included government leaflets calling people to vote on the referendum as well as other leaflets from Yes campaigners. The material was in pallets ready to be distributed. On early Monday the Guardia Civil raided another warehouse in Sabadell, in the Barcelona metro area, and confiscated 100,000 additional government posters.

It is not the first time that the Guardia Civil has seized material related to the October 1 referendum over the past few days. Last Friday evening, after raiding several printing firms, officers found 100,000 posters from the Catalan government about the vote. The following day, the Guardia Civil confiscated the printer plates used to print them. 

Citizens’ reaction to confiscations

As a result of the latest actions by the Spanish security force, some citizens organized impromptu poster-hanging campaigns over the weekend in a challenge to Spain. Indeed the Catalan National Assembly (ANC in Catalan) organized one in central Barcelona and another in Tarragona. The Spanish police monitored the event but did not prevent it from taking place. The website promotes “wallpapering” streets with posters that give information about the referendum. Many citizens are also sharing material on the social networks.  

Some Yes campaigners also reported that some local police corps in Catalonia have asked people who take part in vote-promotion events or actions for their identification. For instance, Barcelona local police asked Catalan Migration secretary, Oriol Amorós, and Madrid intellectual Ramón Cotarelo for their identification during an event near the Sagrada Família. The Spanish attorney general has ordered all police corps to confiscate any material that they find related to the referendum.