The Madrid government has arrested numerous local leaders, seized voting materials, usurped local police command, and undertaken a campaign of censorship in an effort to stop a referendum from happening (archived). On September 27th, 2015 the government of the nominally autonomous region of Catalonia announced its intent to pursue a peaceful secession from the Madrid government and become an independent republic. Towards this cause they scheduled a referendum on independence for October 1st of this year.
As is typical of other contemporary European secession movements, there is substantial resentment that the self declared supranational government in Madrid is burdening the Catalan nation with the woe demanded by the failing two headed EU Reich centered in Berlin and Brussels. Apparently the level of resentment has hit a point where Angela Merkel's puppets in Madrid are seeking to prevent a vote they are sure to lose for the sake of preserving "Our Democracy".