'No more cuts' protest ends in violent clashes in Madrid

'No more cuts' protest ends in violent clashes in Madrid
Sun Mar 23, 2014 08:51:30

An anti-austerity protest in Madrid has ended up in clashes among police forces and demonstrators, when at least 29 protesters arrested and 101 others injured - 67 of them police.

Protesters clashed with police in Madrid as thousands of people trekked across Spain to protest austerity which they claim is destroying their country. Under the banner "no more cuts!" the protesters called for an end to the government’s "empty promises," El Mundo newspaper reported.

Clashes broke out during a final speech at the demonstration when protesters tried to break through a police barrier. Riot police took charge by beating protesters with batons, AP reported.

“They (police) tried to push them (protesters) away from these police fences and then we started seeing firecrackers being thrown at police and reportedly authorities started firing rubber bullets at the protesters. As a result, there are injuries on both sides and several people have been arrested as well,” a witness said.

Six “columns” of trains, cars and buses, as well as bands of pedestrians have travelled from Extremadura, Andalusia, Valencia, Murcia, Asturias, Galicia and Aragon, among other Spanish regions, to converge on Madrid in mass protest this Saturday. The demonstration itself has been dubbed 22-M, marches for dignity.

The protest movement is demanding an end to the so-called Troika-style cuts in Spain, more jobs and affordable housing.

A large proportion of the protesters who have made their way on foot to the Spanish capital are unemployed and plan to camp in Madrid until their demands are met.

Hundreds of people are evicted from their homes every day in Spain. The General Council of the Judiciary reported that 49,984 forced evictions had been carried out across the country last year, which averages about 185 a day.

At the beginning of this month, the Spanish Minister of Employment Fatima Banez said that Spain had finally pulled itself out of the recession and registered economic growth. However, the Spanish Union of Workers dismissed Banez’s announcements as “government propaganda.”


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