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BARCELONA, Spain – The ballot boxes arrived from France under the cover of night, were stored in homes and improvised hiding places, and then secretly shuttled to polling stations right under the nose of police.
Grassroots activists who staged a disputed referendum of independence in Catalonia described to The Associated Press how they managed to outsmart Spain's highest powers and hold the Oct. 1 vote despite a police crackdown that left hundreds injured.
Three activists and a source close to the regional Catalan government spoke about the plan on condition of anonymity, fearing prosecution by Spanish authorities, who had declared the vote illegal.