Author Topic: Spain anti-austerity protesters clash with police  (Read 265 times)

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Spain anti-austerity protesters clash with police
« on: March 23, 2014, 07:57:30 AM »
MADRID (AP) -- Spanish police and protesters clashed during an anti-austerity demonstration that drew tens of thousands of people to central Madrid on Saturday. Police said in a statement that six officers were injured and 12 people were arrested.

As a final speech was being given, some protesters attempted to break through a police barrier and make their way toward the nearby headquarters of the governing conservative Popular Party. Riot police then charged the protesters, who hurled bottles and other objects, and beat them back with batons.

One police vehicle and a bank were damaged by protesters. It wasn't immediately clear how many protesters were injured, and if anybody was seriously hurt on either side.

Protesters say Prime Minister Mariano Rajoy's government has eroded Spain's much-valued public health and education systems, while saddling Spaniards with sky-high unemployment and more debt.

Six columns of protesters - each from a different region of Spain - had arrived at the outskirts of the city early Saturday before heading for Colon square, carrying banners bearing the slogan "Marching for Dignity." By late afternoon, Madrid's principal boulevard, Paseo del Prado, was packed with people chanting against government's austerity policies and the cuts they have entailed.

"I don't want corruption, government cuts and unemployment," said office worker Susana Roldan, 24. "What I want is a secure future in Spain."

Rajoy's conservative government has a large parliamentary majority, enabling it to push through waves of austerity-driven, unpopular tax hikes and government program cutbacks since taking office in 2011, in a bid to reduce Spain's budget deficit.

Spain's economy began to crumble in 2008 with the collapse of its bloated real-estate sector. It emerged from a two-year recession late last year as investor confidence returned and the country's borrowing costs dropped from perilously high levels in 2012 to pre-crisis rates this year. But unemployment is still cripplingly high at 26 percent, leading many to seek work oversees.

The protest includes trade unions, civil servants and organizations representing people evicted from their homes for not being able to make mortgage payments after losing their jobs.

One woman carried a banner saying, "My daughter can't be here because she's had to emigrate."
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Re: Spain anti-austerity protesters clash with police
« Reply #1 on: March 23, 2014, 08:00:17 AM »
More from BBC:
Quote
... Violence has broken out at the end of an anti-austerity protest attended by tens of thousands of people in the Spanish capital Madrid.

Dozens of youths threw projectiles at police, who responded by charging at them.

Demonstrators were protesting over issues including unemployment, poverty and official corruption. They want the government not to pay its international debts and do more to improve health and education. ...


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Offline Oceander

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Re: Spain anti-austerity protesters clash with police
« Reply #2 on: March 23, 2014, 01:04:23 PM »
The risks of various countries defaulting on their debt has been part of the background discussion since at least 2008 and the financial collapse.

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Re: Spain anti-austerity protesters clash with police
« Reply #3 on: March 31, 2014, 07:59:26 AM »
More protests.
Quote
‘Disobedience 2014’: Mass protest calls for an end to austerity in Spain
RT.com
 Published time: March 30, 2014 13:25
 Edited time: March 31, 2014 11:15   
 

Around 4,000 people have staged an act of “mass civil disobedience” in the Catalonian city of Barcelona. Protesters hurled projectiles at police and set fire to bins, while officers beat some activists with batons in an effort to control the crowd.

Thousands gathered in the center of Barcelona in an event the organizers dubbed “Disobedience 2014” in protest of government austerity measures. The protesters marched under a large banner saying: “Disobedience 2014. They can’t control us if we disobey. Let’s stop [Justice Minister Alberto Ruiz-Gallardon’s] laws!”

The demonstration turned violent when the police moved in to try and stop protesters from reaching Barcelona’s Cataluna Square. Activists tussled with police, while others smashed the windows of banks and financial institutions and set fire to bins.

 The idea behind the demonstration is to protest austerity and cuts through “acts of mass civil disobedience,” one of the organizers told Spanish newspaper La Nacion.

Through disobedience we will rebel against a system that is dragging us into an abyss and replace it with one that respects people,” said Luis Lopez who was holding a flag representing a Spanish anarchist group.

 The demonstrators also focused on several law reforms that they regard as affronts to their rights as Spanish citizens. They include new legislation that would radically restrict the right to protest and an amendment to abortion law that would allow the procedure only in case of rape or serious risk to mother’s health.

 Spain’s capital city also witnessed protests this weekend, with around 100 people gathering in the center of Madrid calling for the disbandment of the monarchy. Police dispersed activists who had gathered in Neptune Square under the banner, “Checkmate to the King!”

During the dispersal of the protests, one of RT video agency Ruptly’s cameramen was attacked and injured by policemen. Journalist Mario Munera said officers pushed him to the ground and beat him with batons. Following the demonstration, he had to seek medical attention in a nearby hospital. One person was arrested in the protest and eight were reportedly injured.

The Spanish police said that both of the protests were illegal as their organizers did not inform the authorities of their itineraries.

 Last week Spain witnessed some of its worst protesters violence since the onset of the financial crisis during a so-called March for Dignity in Madrid. Police arrested at least 29 protesters following the clashes which took place after the march. According to emergency service, 101 people were injured, including 67 police officers, El Mundo newspaper reports.

 The organizers of the event told RT that the Spanish government is trying to push Spain back into the Franco era with reactionary reforms.

“What the government wants is to go back to the Franco years and keep the working class from demonstrating in the streets and saying what our main problems are. We won't allow that to happen and they know it,” Pepe Caballero, one of the march’s organizers, told RT, adding that the protest movement will change Spain from the “bottom to the top.”
No word on how smashing windows and setting fires "respects people."
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