Thousands take to vote for the Catalonia independence referendum and clash with riot police

Shocking scenes in Spain…

Voting Sunday morning, turned violent in Barcelona as thousands went to vote for the Catalonia independence referendum.

The Spanish constitutional court said the vote is illegal, the government is doing everything they can to prevent more than five million people voting.

Nasty scenes have been posted on social media showing police officers smashing through doors and windows with hammers at voting stations and seizing ballot boxes.

Carles Puigdemont the Catalan leader, said to reporters: “The unjustified use of violence… by the Spanish state will not stop the will of the Catalan people.”

He added that the police crackdown was “unjustified disproportionate and irresponsible” it shows a “dreadful external image of Spain.”

Separatist leaders have pledged to continue with the referendum despite government warnings.

Mark Stone a correspondent for Sky News who is in Barcelona said: “Police were hitting people sitting on the ground with their batons.

“People then dispersed and moved out the way as a result and then the police vans - because space had been made for them - drove on through.

“People were throwing barricades at the police, and it escalated from there.”

Stone added: “In some polling stations votes are happening, in others the whole thing has been shut down - with an incredible degree of violence.”

Despite the unprecedented violence being witnessed across the news and social media, Enrico Millo who is the top government official in the region, said police were acting “professionally.”

Millo added:” Today’s events in Catalonia can never be portrayed as a referendum or anything similar.”

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