Skirmishes continue between protesters and riot police in Madrid, with cops firing rubber bullets and tear gas at the crowd. Fourteen people have been injured and 22 arrested, local media report.
Riot Police belted protesters, dragging some them by the arms and legs, who had tried to get through police lines. An uneasy order was restored and police have brought in reinforcements and have begun to try and disperse the crowd.
SPANISH POLICE clashed with and arrested demonstrators last evening as thousands surrounded the parliament building in Madrid to protest against the government ahead of a crucial few days for the economy.
The protesters, who staged popular assemblies and rallies across the capital throughout the day, were angry at government economic policy, although the day’s actions were directed at Spain’s political class as a whole.
Although most of the day passed without major incidents, as the demonstration approached its climax outside the Congress building in the evening, there were clashes with police and arrests.
“The problem Spanish people have is that we don’t know what’s going on, and we don’t participate in the running of the country,” said Laura Matos, a young lawyer who gathered with hundreds of other protesters for a popular assembly opposite the Prado art museum in the afternoon.
“The only way we participate is by having to put up with cuts to areas such as healthcare and education.”
The “Occupy Congress” protest was led by two new social organisations, and was backed by dozens of other, mainly left-leaning groups. The build-up to the day’s actions was tense, due in great part to the organisers’ stated aim of pressuring the government to step down and Congress to dissolve.