Spanish police are using violence to prevent people from voting in Catalonia’s independence referendum, which Spain describes as “illegal”. Here’s some Spanish riot police about to fire into protestors:
From the Guardian:
More video footage of police brutality against voters in Barcelona has appeared. The video shows police hitting people in the crowd with batons while voters hold up their hands.
Without the violence, independence would probably have got the support of 45% of Catalans. But Spain’s heavy-handed response will move many into the pro-independence camp.
There are two ways to govern a people: don’t oppress them at all (the democratic approach), or oppress them properly (how most states have been governed, historically); if you try to do something in between, you’ll probably fail. Spain wants to oppress Catalonia, but is too democratic to do so properly — they can’t go for a return of Francoism, and if they did, they would get kicked out of the EU, ruining their economy.
So Catalonia will very likely become independent.