Catalans hold general strike over police violence, vow to keep fighting

More than 800 people required medical attention after riot police cracked down on the banned independence referendum regional authorities said

"The European Commission must encourage global mediation".

Spain's National Court on Wednesday said it will quiz two senior officers of Catalonia's regional police force and the leaders of two pro-Catalan independence civic groups who have been placed under investigation for sedition.

He spoke after hundreds of thousands of Catalans rallied in fury over violence by police against voters during a banned referendum on independence for their region on Sunday.

Clashes as police fired rubber bullets and forced their way into polling stations, often violently removing activists, to confiscate ballots left at least 92 people confirmed injured out of a total of 844 who needed medical attention, according to Catalan authorities.

Spain's government vowed to stop the vote going ahead and threatened to suspend any public official who helped organise it.

Addressing the nation after days of unrest, King Felipe said the region's leaders had behaved irresponsibly and are risking the whole country's economic stability.




In a press briefing, regional government spokesman Jordi Turull said 2.02 million Catalans voted "yes" to the question: "Do you want Catalonia to become an independent state in the form of a republic?"

Nonetheless, the UN's High Commissioner for Human Rights, Prince Zeid Ra'ad al-Hussein, has called on Spanish authorities to conduct "impartial investigations" into the police violence, while Catalonia's government has vowed to seek European Union sanctions against Madrid.

Espanyol and Girona, also based in Catalonia, released statements on Monday declaring their intentions to join the general strike as well.

Puigdemont warned that if the Spanish government attempted to intervene and take control of Catalonia's government, it would be "an error which changes everything". Demonstrations also took place in several other Catalan cities, including Girona and Lleida.

Protestors, many of them students, waved the Catalan independence flag Monday and held up signs demanding more democracy outside the headquarters of the Spanish police in Barcelona.

Per the Guardian's translation, the king said the Catalan government had "eroded the harmony and co-existent within Catalan society itself, managing, unfortunately, to divide it".

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