Catalan referendum: 38 injured amid reports of rubber bullets fired by Spanish police – live
Violence breaks out in Barcelona as riot police attack protests, while Catalans cast independence votes in peaceful defiance of Spanish government
Stephen Burgen has spoken to Martí Pont, 19, who was among the occupants of the Escola Ramon Llull school when the Policia Nacional arrived in force. Video footage shows Spanish police dragging voters out by their hair and throwing people down stairs at the school.
“I was there last night and there were a couple of dozen people but when I went back at 5.30 this morning there were maybe three hundred. The Mossos came, saw how many people there were, and left. A couple of hours later the ballot boxes arrived and we all started applauding. It was raining heavily. Then seven vanloads of Policia Nacional arrived. We all gathered around the front door and kept calm. There were some elderly people but no kids. Then 15 police in body armour and five more wearing balaclavas arrived. They started pushing us with their shields and throwing us aside but there were too many of us. Then more and more vanloads arrived from all sides.
They started pushing through and pulling people out. Then they broke in through another door and took away the ballot boxes and voting papers. Right then people didn’t know what to do because there were police in front and behind. They started dragging us out, often by the throat. Lots of women were dragged out by the hair. Then we saw them put the ballot boxes in a Seat, an ordinary car. We sat down in front of and behind their vans so they couldn’t leave. They took out their truncheons and began separating us. We went down carrer Marina, blocking them street by street. They started hitting us with truncheons but didn’t use their guns. We met up with another group and the police warned journalists to go away, they ran off and the police started firing rubber bullets, this was at the junction of Diputació and Sardenya. Everyone who could, fled, but others got hit, in the back and the knee. Everyone went off to find somewhere else to vote.
Esto es un colegio.
Un CEIP en el que se iba a votar.
En serio. pic.twitter.com/7zxH8GZz8o
Readers have been sharing their eyewitness accounts with us –you can share yours with us here.