The 15 most-shared photos of the Catalan independence referendum

Images from yesterday’s violent clashes spread widely across social media platforms

Emilio Sánchez Hidalgo

The illegal referendum in Catalonia was the most-talked-about topic on Spanish social networks on Sunday. By midday, some messages posted on twitter – including those of Ada Colau, mayor of Barcelona, and Carles Puyol, a former F.C. Barcelona soccer player ­– already had thousands of retweets. The event resonated past Spain’s borders and was a trending topic around the world. Two photos of Catalonia were among the three main entries on aggregation site Reddit within hours. Catalonia dominated global trending topics.

Voters at a school in Girona clash with riot police who were trying to seize ballot boxes.
Voters at a school in Girona clash with riot police who were trying to seize ballot boxes.Agustí Ensesa

These are some of the most-shared images of the referendum day on social networks. The posts appear in order of most shares, but each photo has also been shared by many other accounts.

1. F.C. Barcelona player Gerard Piqué places his vote before the team’s match against Las Palmas. After the game, which was played behind closed doors, Piqué told the media that if there’s a problem, he can “leave the Spanish national team.”

I've already voted. Together we are unstoppable in defending democracy.

2. Gabriel Rufián, member of Spanish Congress from Barcelona, shared this photo of an older woman surrounded by police officers.

If this doesn't make you ashamed, then nothing will. #CatalanReferendum

3. The scientist Eduard Punset – who was also once a Minister of European relations – posted a photo of him casting his vote in one of the plastic ballot boxes.

Democracy is unstoppable.

4. Various Twitter users shared this image of an injured woman. Dani Mateo, an actor and journalist, is one of them. The woman’s son also published a sequence of photos on Instagram, including the moment when his mother finally got to vote.

If I were a politician, after seeing this I would seriously ask myself who I'm serving.

5. The United Left (IU) politician, Alberto Garzón, shared an image of a wounded man on Facebook.

Y esto por querer votar. ¿Y contra los corruptos? Los corruptos son precisamente los que dan las órdenes de golpear. https://t.co/TE3qsYbvpn

Posted by Alberto Garzón Espinosa on Sunday, October 1, 2017

And this for wanting to vote.

And what about the corrupt politicians?

The corrupt politicians are precisely those who gave orders to strike.

6. Although the flag is photoshopped into this image, it was one of the most widely shared yesterday. This is the original image.

A Pulitzer photo. Sorry, I don't know who the photographer is...

7. The image of this woman, detained by several officers, was widely shared, particularly by international media. This tweet from the film director and actor Paco León was one of the most popular, but there were many others.

How shameful!

8. This next photo is of a firefighter protecting people from police officers.

When they ask what it means to have class consciousness, teach this

9. A man is seen hugging a Catalan police officer. Boris Llona took the photo in Lleida, a city in western Catalonia.

🔴 Mosso plorant avui a Cappont, Lleida. Foto: B.Ll. Més imatges a https://www.segre.com/multimedia/galeries-imatges/carregues_policials_lleida.html

Posted by Segre on Sunday, October 1, 2017

A Catalan police officer crying today in the Cappont neighborhood of Lleida

10. Firefighters were deployed in various parts of Catalonia to help citizens who wanted to vote, as shown in this image.

Firefighters protecting people that want to vote. Bravo #CatalanReferendum

11. The woman who appeared in Rufián’s tweet also appeared all over social media, this time with various National Police officers in the background.

This photo.

12. Several officers surround a woman during the clearing out of a polling center.

These images will be shared around the around the world. There are 1,500 international media reporters here.

13. These firefighters stand between the demonstrators and the Civil Guard. Throughout the day there were several scenes of tension between agents from the two groups.

#CatalanReferendum Firefighters are defending citizens against police brutality. Bravo! We want to vote!

14. Sandwiched between the rest of these tense images was a post from the National Police of four images on Twitter of their agents completing their job of stopping the illegal referendum.

Agents confiscate ballot boxes and ballot sheets at different schools in Barcelona. We comply with the law #WeareforYOU

15. Former Catalan Parliament member, Antonio Baños, shared a photo of the moment when a police officer confiscated a ballot box.

Do you like this? Is this what you wanted? What's next?

English version by Debora Almeida

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