Spanish Police in Catalan have beaten down members of the public with riot batons in the latest public unrest in Barcelona.
The Catalan separatists gathered in protest, on Saturday, against a march organised by police to demand better pay. The two rivalling groups both organised marches, the separatists directly doing so in order to put a halt to the police march and instigate direct conflict with powder paint, upon which the police on duty proceeded to separate the two opposing groups with batons. However, one officer was pictured nearly strangling a separatist woman, only serving to escalate tensions further.
Pro-Independance groups challenge the police and claim the powder paint was used as part of the celebration of the Holi Festival in Sant Jaume square and although was organised to stop the demonstration in support of National Police and Guardia Civil, was not aimed to stoke violence.
The ensuing conflict came to a standoff between police and separatists, rising tensions and an unease in the NorthEastern Spain, as the protest comes just before the anniversary of the illegal Spanish referendum which gave Spain its independence by regional law makers.
Monday could see more violent disruption in Catalonia, like the violent clash of police and voters at the infamous referendum which took place only last October and injured hundreds of citizens and police alike.
In the referendum last year, 9000 Spanish police officers were needed to keep peaceful streets during the Civil War which saw Catalonia gain its independence from Spain, only a year on and tensions are clearly still palpable. How long can the Catalonian government hold off unrest at such an early start in their national identity without weakening their stance with Spain and the international community, even more concerning, their police force?