IN PICTURES: Cataluña on strike over police violence as international concern deepens

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Mark Malone/Twitter
A main road cut off by protesters

A GENERAL strike called by trade unions and other pro-independence groups from Cataluña is underway.

The action is in protest at Sunday’s police violence during the banned independence referendum, in which more than 2.2 million people, around 42 per cent of the electorate, reportedly voted.

But almost 900 were hurt as police fired rubber bullets and stormed polling stations.

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More than 20 major roads in the region, including the AP-7 motorway, have been blocked by demonstrators, while metro and bus services in capital Barcelona are severely reduced.

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Burning debris cut off a road in Cataluña ©Angel Niño/Twitter

A number of ports, including Barcelona, are completely shut down with flights and train services also likely to be thrown into disarray.

Schools, clinics, universities, tourist sites and even Barcelona Football Club will shut down for the day.

It comes after another night of protests as chanting crowds formed outside National Police and Guardia Civil stations across Cataluña.

“I am convinced that this strike will be widely followed,” said Catalan leader Carles Puigdemont ahead of the strike.

Catalan authorities say that 90 per cent of votes were in favour of independence, but the Spanish government remains determined to stop any official motion.

International concern over the situation is growing, with the European parliament set to hold a special meeting on Wednesday.

“We call on all relevant players to now move very swiftly from confrontation to dialogue. Violence can never be an instrument in politics,” said European commission spokesman Margaritis Schinas.

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