They refused to move as the day wore on, further angered by an announcement by the interior ministry that police had seized "close to 10 million ballot papers" destined for the October 1 vote deemed illegal by the central government.
Speaking in the Spanish Congress, Saenz de Santamaria said that the Catalan Regional Assembly "wanted to end with decades of democratic stability" in Spain.
The Spanish government says it has systematically dismantled the logistics Catalonia's government put in place to hold the referendum and any result would no longer be meaningful.
Despite long-standing assurances from the State Department that the U.S. would take no stance on the upcoming Catalonia referendum, President Trump couldn't help himself while hosting Spain's Prime Minister, loudly endorsing Spanish unity.
If Catalonia favours a split, the pressure on Madrid to allow an official vote will grow, according to analysts.
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Spain's prime minister called Wednesday on Catalan separatists to stop their "escalation" as several thousand people took to the streets of Barcelona to protest at Madrid's attempts to derail a banned referendum on independence, AFP reported.
"I think it would be foolish not to".
Anyone in possession of the keys or entrance codes to a polling booth could be considered a collaborator to crimes of disobedience, malfeasance and misappropriation of funds, the order said.
"Today we can affirm that there will be no effective referendum in Catalonia". Hundreds of police reinforcements, including the national Civil Guard, have been brought into Barcelona and other cities. Trump said. "I'm just for a united Spain", he said, adding that if accurate polling were done in the region "you'd find out people of Catalonia love their country, they love Spain".
Many had not yet received information about where or when they would be working after the state-run postal service was ordered to stop all mail related to the vote, a parliamentary spokeswoman for one separatist party said.
He also said the risk of violence was of concern to many people.