Barcelona metro stations were closed, pickets blocked main roads and civil servants walked out on Tuesday in response to a strike called by pro-independence groups after hundreds were injured in a Spanish police crackdown on a banned independence referendum. Scarlett Cvitanovich reports
A partial strike all but shutting down Barcelona's transport links on Tuesday (October 3). As thousands answer a call from unions and associations to put pressure on Spanish national authorities, urging them to heed Sunday's referendum vote in favor of independence. A result Madrid says is invalid. Even Barcelona's famous football team is expected to join its fans and strike. Although it's not due to play a match. Almost nine-hundred people were injured after clashing with police officers as they tried to vote, triggering international condemnation. Now, Catalonia's leader Carles Puigdemont has demanded the withdrawal of police forces saying he wants the EU to help mediate what he calls "a new understanding" with the Spanish state. And to avoid a, quote, "traumatic break" (SOUNDBITE) (Catalan) CATALAN PRESIDENT, CARLES PUIGDEMONT, SAYING: "The situation needs mediation, and the mediation, as I have said, needs the presence of a third actor, and it must be an international actor in order to be efficient." The comments hand a new challenge to Spanish Prime Minister Mariano Rajoy, seen by some as a bid for talks with Madrid over a new deal for Catalonia. But after the weekend's events, the more hard-line separatists may not be in the mood for negotiation.