Spanish riot police fire rubber bullets at protesters in Barcelona

A PEACEFUL sit down protest in Barcelona was broken up by Catalan riot police who opened fire using rubber bullets.

Picture: AFP/Getty Images

Police vans had been kettled in by voters who had been observing a sit down protest in the streets of Barcelona.

However the peaceful sit-in was forcefully dispersed by police using rubber bullets to allow their vans to move on through.

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Riot police smash way into Catalonia polling station

Members of the public and international observers described the police action as unprovoked.

Spanish police have sought to prevent voters from entering polling stations and have seized ballot boxes since voting for the banned referendum commenced this morning.