Catalan separatists hold fresh protests

Catalan separatists have held fresh protests outside Barcelona’s high court.

Judges in the city must decide whether to release around a dozen senior officials accused of organising Catalonia’s independence referendum.

Spain’s constitutional court has declared the October 1 poll illegal and tension remains high over Madrid’s attempts to stop the banned poll.

Malena Palau, a protester, said: “We are not afraid. We want to vote, we want to have the right to decide. Regardless of what we vote for, we want to vote.”

“It’s complicated. The (Spanish) state is doing everything it can to avoid dialogue. Five or six years ago it would have been possible to take this process to the negotiation table, rather than what you see today,’‘ Ramon Marc, another protester said.

Catalonia’s economy minister is one of those being held. The region’s leader has accused the central government of imposing a ‘‘de facto state of emergency”

In addition to detaining senior Catalan officials authorities have been carrying out raids in a bid to seize voting material.

On Wednesday evening a mass rally against Madrid’s attempts to halt the vote saw scuffles between riot police and protesters outside Catalonia’s regional government offices.
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