Catalans prepare for confrontation as up to 16,000 riot police are deployed to thwart referendum

A referendum on independence for the Spanish region of Catalonia was approved by Catalan authorities, but declared illegal by Spain’s constitutional court. And in recent days, a clampdown on the referendum plans has seen more than 40 regional administrative offices raided and 14 officials detained. In response, thousands of people have taken to the streets. Dock workers from the National Confederation of Labour (CNT), meanwhile, have tracked ships where up to 16,000 riot police are to be accommodated in preparation for the planned referendum. And ‘hacked’ police audio conversations suggest that officers are itching for a fight.

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