Police drove vans through crowds of protesters in Barcelona on Monday night to dispere a rally marking the first anniversary of the contested independence referendum.

The Mossos d’Esquadra, Catalonia’s regional police force, sought to prevent a re-routing of the march by police headquarters on Via Laietana.

The mobilisation was organised by the Committees for the Defence of the Republic (CDRs).

The Catalan independence referendum of October 1, 2017, was marred by violent raids, clashes and the jailing of Catalan politicians, many of whom still remain in prison.

Spain’s constitutional court ruled the referendum was illegal and the government in Madrid later imposed direct rule.

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