WEDNESDAY, 12th July 2012, Madrid
The Miners’ rally began at the Plaza de Colon, Madrid.
Miners from Asturias, Leon and Aragon in Northern Spain had marched on foot to the Spanish capital to protest against cuts in aid to the coal mining industry, unilaterally approved by the right-wing Partido Popular Government, in breach of the agreements signed with the former administration in 2006.
The “Black Marchers” were then joined by 500 coach-loads of relatives and neighbours who had traveled down from their home towns and cities and turning the event into a mass demonstration.
The paramilitary Riot Police charged on the Ministry of Industry, at 160 Paseo de la Castellana, while union spokesmen were negotiating with police and at 1 p.m. a group of miners tried to cross the security perimeter fence that police had set up. From that moment onwards the tension grew and police then opened fire with shotguns discharging volleys of rubber bullets into the crowd with the miners responding by throwing all kinds of objects back at the police.
The clashes resulted in 20 wounded and 5 miners arrested.
The police deployment in Madrid had been beefed-up to the point where the headquarters of the ruling Popular Party (PP), located in Genoa Street, was blocked off throughout the morning with 11 riot vans in preparation for a demonstration set to take place there on the day.
This is what neoliberal dictatorship looks like.
As the Indignados chanted on Friday outside the Congress of Deputies:
“You do not represent us!”
And a disabled man’s act of resistance ….