Despite various attempts by the Spanish government to stop a symbolic referendum on independence from being held in the wealthy region of Catalonia on Sunday, pro-separatists look set to hold a vote regardless.
The national government in Madrid has said it will deploy police to prevent an independence vote on October 1, with orders to take over any polling booths that are set up. The government and country's constitutional court have ruled that the vote is unconstitutional, although that has not stopped a past similar "symbolic" vote in 2014.
Madrid has already ordered police raids on regional government offices, seized election material, and made arrests relating to the vote, but this has not stopped Catalan officials, who say the vote will take place come what may. Protests have also taken place in Barcelona, the region's largest city, in response to the police action, with protesters chanting "We will vote!"
Although most polls show that the majority of Catalans favor remaining a part of Spain, there is anger at the Spanish government for not allowing an official vote on the matter and for the perceived suppression of a democratic process — a moot point in a country that experienced military dictatorship for much of the 20th century.