Saturday, September 30, 2017

Separatists occupy schools in Catalonia ahead of disputed independence vote

Separatists occupy schools in Catalonia
Pro-separatist Catalans have occupied several schools in Barcelona designated as a polling stations in a contested independence referendum, in a bid to ensure the vote goes ahead.

"I am going to sleep here, with my oldest son who is a student here," Gisela Losa, a mother of three, told AFP at the Reina Vionnant primary school in Barcelona's Gracia neighbourhood, where pro-independence sentiment runs high.

"There are at least four or five families who will come with their children, and certainly there will be more, tomorrow it is certain that there will be more of us."

Spain's education ministry warned in a statement that school directors in Catalonia "were not exempt from liability" if they helped to stage Sunday's referendum, which the central government deems illegal.

A court on Wednesday ordered police to prevent the use of public buildings or places "for the preparation and organisation" of the referendum in the wealthy northeastern region of Spain, which is home to 7.5 million people and is about the size of Belgium.

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