Catalan Leader: Spanish Crackdown Will Boost Referendum Turnout

Regional Police Warn Closing Polling Stations Would Fuel Disorder

With continue police crackdowns and suggestions from top Spanish officials that he too could be arrested soon, Catalan leader Carles Puigdemont says he believes that the turnout in the October 1 referendum will be higher specifically because of all the police action.

Polls have shown the Catalan public split on the question of independence, but over the past week crowds at pro-secession rallies seem to be growing, and signs are indeed pointing to the Spanish police’s efforts to tamp down the movement simply mobilizing them further.

Catalan police, who were supposed to have been “nationalized” by Spain but have been resisting the order, are also warning against plans for the national police to physically block voters from polling place, warning it will fuel public disorder.

Officials warned this is the biggest political crisis Spain has seen in generations, and while the thousands of police could conceivably be enough to prevent the referendum, it would only fuel further outrage among would-be voters.

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Author: Jason Ditz

Jason Ditz is news editor of Antiwar.com.