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Barcelona's football stars were among join Catalonian workers to down tools

Protestors gather in front of the Spanish Partido Popular ruling party headquarters in Barcelona PICTURE: Emilio Morenatti/AP

Barcelona's football stars were among workers in Catalonia to down tools on Tuesday in protest against the Spanish government's actions over the region's independence vote.

The club said none of its professional or youth teams were training and the club base was closed.

Girona's team also did not train while Espanyol's players underwent physical exercises behind closed doors.

Barcelona defender Gerard Pique, one of the most outspoken supporters of Catalonia, was harassed by fans on Monday when he reported to Spain's national team training camp in Madrid ahead of upcoming World Cup qualifiers.

Several hundred Barcelona port workers held a demonstration outside the regional headquarters of Spain's ruling Popular Party chanting slogans against government policies and the alleged brutality of police during Sunday's polling day.

The protest came as several small unions and grassroots pro-independence groups urged workers throughout the region to go on partial or full-day strikes.

The port workers threw wads of unused ballot papers from the vote into the air in the protest outside the party's office in Barcelona.

Regional police placed barriers outside the building to stop the crowd getting near the offices and the protest lasted more than an hour.

Madrid's top official in Catalonia said he lamented the violence but blamed the regional separatist government for "exposing citizens to danger".

Enric Millo said on Tuesday "nothing of this would have happened if the government wouldn't have declared itself in rebellion, breaking the orders of the courts and lying and tricking people".

He said Spain's National Police and Civil Guard anti-riot squads broke into schools designated as polling stations when it was clear that the regional Mossos d'Esquadra police, controlled by the Catalan government, was not carrying out a judge's orders to impede the voting.

He also accused the grassroots groups driving the independence bid, the National Catalan Assembly and Omnium Cultural, and pro-independence mayors of "plotting to break the law".

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