After reluctantly complying with orders to shut down polling places, it appears the local Catalonian police have had enough of the Spanish Civil Guard’s brutality. To wit, videos have surfaced showing members of the local police – known as the Mossos – clashing with Civil Guard officers as they try to stop federal police from storming polling stations and attacking peaceful voters.
Public support for the Mossos has remained high despite the crackdown following the terror attack in late August, and video that emerged earlier showed crowds clapping for Mossos officers as they entered a polling station. One video published by the Spain Report shows Civil Guard riot officers physically pushing Mossos officers as they move to enter a polling station in the town. The Mossos officers resist and push back and an angry confrontation ensues for several seconds.
Earlier, Catalan firemen were caught in tape being beaten by Civil Guard officers armed with clubs as the Catalonians tried to protect civilians attempting to vote.
Another video, published by Civil Guard trade union AUGC, showed Mossos officers facing off with Civil Guard riot squad officers, though it didn’t specify where the confrontation took place.
— The Spain Report (@thespainreport) October 1, 2017
As the Spain Report pointed out, the National Police and Civil Guard had managed to close 92 polling stations in Catalonia by 5 pm. The Catalan government had announced on Friday that there would be 2,315 polling station in total, which means state-level policing actions on Sunday only managed to close 4% of the total, across the region.
The physical clashes followed reports of criminal charges being filed by national police trade unions against their Catalonian counterparts. Five National Police trade unions announced they would take legal action, via criminal complaints, against the Catalan Police (Mossos) and Mossos chief Josep Lluis Trapero for what they believe is a dereliction of duty and for preventing National Police officers from carrying out orders in Catalonia.
“Impunity cannot be allowed in a police force, like the Mossos, which held all of our respect”, said the statement:
“A large number of regional police officers are professional and honourable. But today’s actions open an intense debate about the public security model in our country.”
National Police trade unions condemned Catalan Police chiefs’ commitment to “separatists’ political sectarianism”.
“There are no half-truths here: either you are with the law or committing a crime.”