After all, this is Spain, part of the civilized West, what could happen? Right?
It is indeed Spain. What we easily forget that Spain is a traumatized country by its recent history. The transition from the Franco regime and its decades long brutality was done quickly with no accountability for the perpetrators or closure for the victims.
Such elements in a society's history do not disappear that easily. Look at the rise of German nationalism. And that, despite utmost sensitivity shown to the issue and many decades of active intervention.
Today, it is being reported that the Guardia Civil injured hundreds of protesters in Barcelona. According to the BBC, thus far 337 people were injured.
Here is a clip of what they did in and around one polling station.
This is a link to BBC showing large crowds being attacked by baton wielding officers.
There are some graphic scenes of violence being broadcast to the world. Officers firing rubber bullets.
People bleeding from open head wounds.
People thrown to the ground forcibly pulled by their legs.
And people being beaten mercilessly.
Here is a longer clip, if you want to see the Guardia Civil in action.
I have no idea how this will end but I am sure it is not going to end well.
I am also curious how the EU's Commission will handle this show of illiberal democracy in the West.
In any event, mark 1 October in your calendars. You will hear about it in the coming months and years.
This is the beginning of tribal politics in Spain.