The Madrid government is pulling out the stops to crush a referendum on independence for Catalonia, now a region of Spain. The national police have ripped down posters, detained over 700 mayors, shut down printing presses, attacked the website of the separatist movement, and used fear of financial ruin for supporters to intimidate. They intend to prevent anyone from voting. But it is only causing more resistance. Individuals using home printers, creating new websites. The Rojas government is promoting hysteria in the national media and using the legal system as a weapon, in much the same way Franco did. From Barcelona, Catalonia, Green Left Weekly European correspondent Dick Nichols reports from the heart of the struggle.

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