Catalonia: Parents occupying schools to keep them open for outlawed independence vote

Catalonia: Parents occupying schools to keep them open for outlawed independence vote

[Ed. – The police have reportedly given the school-occupiers a deadline for leaving peacefully.  This is all after Spain began seizing ballots and deploying thousands of police to suppress any attempt at an uprising.  Tensions are running high: Catalans who didn’t favor independence before say they do now, because of the reaction from Madrid.  And Spanish protesters are demonstrating around the country against the Catalan vote.  Sunday — the scheduled day, although, again, the referendum has been officially prohibited by the national government — will prove interesting.]

A grassroots group that has organized parents to keep schools in Catalonia open so they can be used as polling places for Sunday’s independence vote says the referendum could be in jeopardy unless more balloting stations can open.

Open Schools spokesman Ramon Font said that as of 5 p.m. Saturday the group did not know how many schools were being occupied by activists, but expects it to be by Sunday morning many more than the number Catalan police reported.

Catalan police said earlier Saturday that 163 schools were being occupied.

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Font told The Associated Press he hopes the number will increase to all 2,315 schools designated as polling stations, but says much depends on whether police use force to vacate and shut schools to prevent balloting.

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