Crowds queue outside polling stations as they wait to vote in banned Catalan referendum

BARCELONA, SPAIN (OCTOBER 1, 2017) (REUTERS) – Thousands of people were seen on Sunday (October 1) queuing outside polling stations in Barcelona waiting to cast their ballots in Catalonia’s banned independence referendum.

Catalans gathered at designated polling stations early in the morning as they sought to defy Spanish authorities by voting in a referendum that the central government says is illegal.

Organisers smuggled ballot boxes into some stations before dawn in black plastic bags.

Later, voters blocked doors at some sites in anticipation that police could try to enter and take over the stations.

At a polling station in Barcelona, organisers asked people to use passive resistance if police intervened. Polls are due to open 0700GMT.