Sunday 22 April 2018

Catalan dockers block civil guard from landing in ports

Protesters in Barcelona. Photo: Reuters
Protesters in Barcelona. Photo: Reuters

Hannah Strange

Spain's efforts to prevent an independence referendum in Catalonia hit the rocks yesterday as boatloads of military police were denied mooring space by dockers.

More than 4,000 of Spain's Guardia Civil were dispatched to Catalonia amid concerns there were divided loyalties in the autonomous community's own police force, the Mossos d'Esquadra.

The guardia were to be accommodated on four cruise ships, two in Barcelona, one in Tarragona and another in Palamos. But as thousands took to the streets in Barcelona for a second day of protest over the detention of Catalan officials, dockers joined the backlash.

The Assembly of Stevedores of the Port of Barcelona announced workers would not service any ship carrying security forces, a decision made "in defence of civil rights".

Colleagues in Tarragona quickly followed suit.

The Catalan government meanwhile denied permission to dock in Palamos, which falls under regional control.

The moves to thwart the deployment come amid growing anger in Catalonia about the arrests on Wednesday of 14 mostly high-ranking Catalan officials, during preparations for a referendum declared illegal by the Spanish courts. (© Daily Telegraph London)

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