A lecturer has said there are elements within the Catalan independence lobby which want to see violence escalate in order to further their agenda.
The Spanish government has said it will impose direct rule over Catalonia after the regional leader Carles Puigdemont refused to clarify whether he declared independence last week.
The office of Mariano Rajoy, the Spanish Prime Minister, has issued a statement announcing the imminent activation of Article 155 of the national constitution, which will strip the Catalan Parliament of its authority.
Dr Paul Kennedy, a lecturer in Spanish and European Studies at the University of Bath, said violence could become a possibility over the coming weeks.
He told Julia Hartley-Brewer: "We should expect big protests within Catalonia and attempts to up the ante and antagonise the Spanish security forces.
"One of the elements within the pro-independence lobby wants to up the ante and if possible, have mobilisations on the streets and clashes with the police.
"The idea of Catalonia taking on this sort of victimhood – the Spanish wading in with the policia national and all this - that’s a strategy for the pro-independence group.
"But ultimately what that does is ignores the fact for the last few weeks Catalonia, a region of Spain, has been operating illegally and unconstitutionally, and that can’t be allowed to go on."