Police clashed with thousands of Catalan demonstrators as they hit the streets of Barcelona and Madrid on Tuesday, outraged at the Spanish Constitutional Court’s decision to suspend Catalonia’s November vote for independence.
The independence referendum planned by Catalonia’s president for this November was unanimously suspended by 12 judges of the Spanish Constitutional Court on Monday.
Angered by the decision, protesters took to the streets of Barcelona and several other cities, promising they are ready to begin “the most powerful political campaign in European history” in case the referendum is not held, according to RIA Novosti citing protest organizers.
Despite rainy weather, crowds of demonstrators with colorful umbrellas and slogans – some dressed in the colors of the regional flag and holding banners demanding the right to vote for independence – flooded Barcelona’s center. “We will vote” and “We want a vote!” the people chanted.
Groups of demonstrators also took directly to Spanish government building in Barcelona and to the Spanish parliament in Madrid with cardboard cut-outs of ballot boxes, symbolizing the defiant drive of Catalonia’s independence supporters to hold the November 9 referendum. In Barcelona, the protesters were dispersed by the police for blocking the pavement, with brief clashes ensuing, according to ITAR-TASS.
Despite Madrid’s position that there is no way the government will allow the country to be split, Catalans remain adamant that they should be given a chance to vote.
In response to the Monday decision, the speaker of the regional parliament, Nuria de Gispert, called for the Constitutional Court to “immediately lift” the suspension of the referendum.
Catalan separatist politicians also did not give up hope of a referendum.