Spanish march against austerity plans turns violent with over 100 injured

Sunday, March 23, 2014
By Paul Martin
23 March 2014

At least 100 people were injured in clashes between police and rioters after one of the largest protests in months against the austerity plans of the Spanish government, officials said Sunday. Sixty-seven policemen were reported injured, emergency services workers said. A police spokesman said 24 people suspected of carrying out the violence were arrested.

The demonstration was held in opposition to the policies of the conservative Spanish government and devolved into streets battles with police. Demonstrators held signs demanding that bankers be made to pay for the economic crisis, rather than cuts in government services. Unions joined leftist student associations and other civil groups in calling for “marches of dignity” throughout Spain against cuts in social services.

The mainstream media undeservedly overlooks one of the main events in the life of the Spaniards this March, talking about everything from football matches to weather forecasts. Just not about the expression of the people’s will. The so-called “March for Dignity Madrid 22M” supported by the Spaniards discontent with the government’s austerity policies took place in Madrid on Saturday, resulting in clashes between the angry youth and police.

Hundreds of thousands of Spaniards rallied in Madrid on Saturday against poverty and EU-imposed austerity in a largely peaceful protest later marred by violent clashes in which police fired rubber bullets.

Some protesters started to throw stones and bottles at the large numbers of riot police present and attacked cashpoints and hoardings. The police fired rubber bullets to disperse them, according to video footage seen by Reuters.

Central government representative Cristina Cifuentes said 19 protesters had been arrested and 50 police officers had been injured, one of them very badly, in the clashes.

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