Thousands take to streets of Madrid in solidarity with Catalonia

'It’s touching to see the squares fill up. Solidarity is our greatest weapon!' one tweet reads 

Pro-Catalan protesters gather in Madrid square

Footage has emerged showing thousands of people gathered in Spain’s capital in solidarity with Catalonia following reports of police violence during the referendum vote.

People can be heard shouting “Si! Si! Si!” (Yes! Yes! Yes!) in videos posted on social media in the city’s La Puerta del Sol square on Sunday– the day the Catalan independence referendum was held.

A demonstration was held in Spain's capital to protest the government's actions in Catalonia 

Protesters rallied against the alleged aggressive tactics used by police officers against Catalans who were trying to get to polling stations to vote.

The region's government reported that 844 people were injured in Catalonia as a result of clashes with the police, which Catalan president Carles Puigdemont called “the unjustified, disproportionate and irresponsible violence of the Spanish state.”

The Spanish government responded by calling the police' actions "proportionate", and said it had sent the police to stop the referendum.

Pictures and videos from the protest in Madrid show thousands of people demonstrating on the streets on October I.

FC Barcelona also closed the doors to their Nou Camp stadium and played their match against Las Palmas in an empty arena in protest.

"We tried to suspend the game all day long but it wasn't possible," Barcelona president Josep Bartomeu said.

Centre-back Gerard Pique added: “Today was my worst experience as a professional.”

Footage in Catalonia during the referendum were posted on Twitter, and one appeared to show riot officers kicking and using batons to beat men in firefighters’ uniforms.

Spanish police attack firefighters who were protecting Catalonians over referendum vote

Officers have also used batons – and in one incident rubber bullets – in an effort to remove people from polling stations.

This isn’t the first time Spanish police have been condemned for their violence. Last month, tens of thousands took to the streets of Barcelona to share their outrage over the escalating crackdown on the referendum. Fourteen local government officials had been arrested at the time – including the region’s deputy vice president.

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