Oct. 1 (UPI) — More than 300 individuals were being wounded in clashes with law enforcement all through voting on Sunday in Catalonia’s independence referendum.

Police officers, beneath orders from the Spanish governing administration in Madrid, are stopping individuals from voting, which commenced at 9 a.m. at countless numbers of websites. Police at universities warned mother and father that they would be arrested if they did not depart the premises by 6 a.m. neighborhood time Sunday.

Police seized paper ballots and bins.

Irrespective of the raids, the Catalonian governing administration said far more than 70 p.c of the 2,315 polling stations were being open Sunday afternoon.

Catalonia is a culturally distinctive location of 7.5 million individuals in northeastern Spain.

The Catalonian regional governing administration and well being division said 337 individuals went to hospitals or well being centers. The Spanish interior ministry said 11 law enforcement officers were being also harm.

“The unjustified use of violence … by the Spanish state will not halt the will of the Catalan individuals,” pro-referendum leader Carles Puigdemont said.

But Spanish Inside Minister Juan Ignacio Zoido blamed Puigdemont for the violence.

The Guardia Civil, a paramilitary drive, said officers were being carrying out its duties “in defense of the regulation” but were being “resisting harassment and provocation.”

In Girona, the place Puigdemont was due to vote, riot law enforcement smashed their way into a polling station and taken out ballots. Puigdemont voted at one more polling station.

“These days, I have viewed the worst steps that a governing administration can do to the individuals of its have place,” voter Julia Graell explained to the BBC. She said “law enforcement commenced to kick individuals, younger and old.”

Several thousand mother and father and their youngsters occupied hundreds of polling stations just before the vote to maintain them from becoming locked down by Nationwide Police and Guardia Civil militia officers.

In the former textile town of Sabadell, the fifth-biggest metropolis in Catalonia, Francesc Condina hid the ballot bins for 3 months in a dusky wine cellar in the heart of the metropolis. Then, the plastic tubs were being transported in the down in black plastic.

“They were being disguised as bags of trash,” Condina said to The Washington Article. “But this was democracy we carried in our arms.”

For the duration of pro-referendum protests Sunday in the regional funds of Barcelona, law enforcement utilized batons and fired rubber bullets to disperse the crowds.

Catalonia, which comprises 16 p.c of Spain’s populace, is not recognized as a independent country beneath the Spanish structure inspite of its have language and culture.

Spanish Primary Minister Mariano Rajoy states the vote is a violation of the structure, which he said is “the indissoluble unity of the Spanish country, the popular and indivisible homeland of all Spaniards.”

The Spanish governing administration shut down internet websites promoting the referendum, but new apps popped up to guideline voters to the nearest polling station.

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