general strike in Spain's region of Catalonia on Tuesday brought large parts of Barcelona and other cities to standstill. Thousands of Catalans rallied and blocked roads to protest over Spanish police violence during Sunday's independence referendum. Nearly 900 people were injured at weekend in crackdown against voters and referendum staff. Spanish government declared that referendum was illegal and ordered the police to break it up. Spain's King Felipe VI has condemned organizers of referendum. In televised address to nation, he said they had put themselves "outside law". He said situation in Catalonia was "extremely serious" and called for national unity.
The mayor of Barcelona told reporters that Catalan people deserved to have vote on independence. She said: "What we need is democratic response. And we need political solution. And we need inclusive solution that listens to cries of millions of people." She also called for resignation of Spain's prime minister. More unrest could be on cards. Any declaration of independence by Catalans could plunge Spain into further constitutional crisis and risk break-up of country. Other regions could follow Catalonia's example and have their own referendum. Spain's president has called on international community to help mediate between two sides.