BARCELONA, Spain – Parents, children and activists in Catalonia are starting a day of activities after spending the night in schools designated as polling stations for Sunday's vote on the region's independence from Spain.
Yoga sessions, film screenings and picnics have been organized at some of the 2,315 voting facilities that referendum supporters are trying to keep police from shutting down.
The Spanish government considers the referendum illegal and the country's Constitutional Court has suspended it, but regional separatists have vowed to go ahead with balloting.
The Catalan police force is under orders to empty the buildings by early Sunday. Officers have been directed to refrain from using violence to remove parents and students.
How the 17,000 regional officers respond to the vacate order is seen as key to the success or failure of the planned vote.