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Streamed live on Oct 1, 2017
LIVE Stream: Catalan Protesters Outside Polling Station in Barcelona (01-10-17) 1 October, 2017. LIVE Stream: People Voting for Catalan Independence Referendum in Barcelona (01-10-17) October 1, 2017.
Saturday, Barcelona: Thousands of Catalans gathered at designated polling stations on Sunday morning as they sought to defy Spanish authorities by voting in a banned independence referendum that has raised fears of unrest in the wealthy northeastern region on October 1, 2017.
The referendum, declared illegal by Spain’s central government, has thrown the country into its worst constitutional crisis in decades and raised fears of street violence as a test of will between Madrid and Barcelona plays out.
Civil Guard national police also streamed in a convoy through the streets of Barcelona in the early morning, but at dawn there was no sign of either national or Catalan police enforcing a court order to lock down the polling stations.
The regional Government of Catalonia has set a referendum on Catalan independence for 1 October 2017. This referendum was first called for in June 2017 and was approved by the Catalan parliament in a session on 6 September 2017 along with a law which states that independence would be binding with a simple majority, without requiring a minimum turnout. Opposition parties refused to participate in the session and have called on their voters to boycott the vote, except Catalunya Sí que es Pot who abstained but supports participation. The law is illegal according to the Catalan Statutes of autonomy which require a two third majority in the Catalan parliament for any change to Catalonia's status. The referendum itself is also illegal according to the Spanish constitution. It was suspended by the Constitutional Court on 7 September 2017, with the Catalan government stating the court order was not valid for Catalonia and proceeding to gather the support of 750 of 948 municipalities of Catalonia, including a partial support by Barcelona. This led to a constitutional crisis in Spain and started a police operation to stop the referendum.