Just as people inside the USA were frustrated and angry ove rbusiness as usual, over this past summer, people in Spain called for a referendum that would disrupt the current head of Catalonia and Spain's status quo. Not surprisingly, the court system declared the referendum unconstitutional.
Yet the vote went forward, amid election polling places being shut down, ballots being confiscated and police smashing people up and down and all around.

from the arti9cle:
However, even though Catalonia may not have won, Rajoy has clearly lost. His crackdown on Catalonia was a stark reminder that he is a legatee of Franco. The Guardia Civil, which were sent in to bar the election, are a national paramilitary force created by Franco, because the central government could not rely on local police. Indeed, the media reports I saw (I worry about relying on English language sources) said the police in Catalonia for the most part stood aside. So Rajoy’s crackdown is applying pressure on long-standing fault lines.

Had things not gotten to this point, the government in Catalonia might have been satisfied with a “most favored region” deal, since a major beef has been that Catalonia has less autonomy than other regions. But the way so many people to came out to vote in the face of Madrid’s thuggery has stiffened the resolve of the separatists. As a political scientist told me, “Like the Kurds, it’s what they want, even if it’s suicidal.”

By contrast, Rajoy already has a fragile coalition. The Basques have every reason to be alarmed about the rough treatment of Catalonia. If they pull out, they could bring the government down. It’s over my pay grade to game out what might happen next, but Rajoy has clearly overplayed his hand, and he has also not allowed himself a way to retreat gracefully. So the only safe bet is that things will become even more chaotic over the coming few weeks.