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The Saker
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Dublin Opinion >>

Huge Anti Austerity Marches In Spain

category international | anti-capitalism | other press author Sunday March 23, 2014 13:56author by v for vendetta Report this post to the editors

Huge protests are taking place in Spain over bank bailouts of nearly 50 billion and subsequent crippling austerity measures imposed by the Spanish government on the Spanish people and jobless figures of 50% among the under 24 age group. The otherwise peaceful protest was marred at the end when a small group of masked youth engaged with police in violent scuffles. Very convenient and needless to say this is the subject matter of the first sentence in most MSM news reports

image from telegraph
image from telegraph

wsws.org have a good article on the protest:
http://www.wsws.org/en/articles/2014/03/24/madr-m24.html

The genesis of the demonstration was one month ago when eight columns of protesters, which organisers called the “Marches of Dignity”, set out from different cities across Spain to converge on Madrid. Hundreds of thousands more people joined on Saturday, travelling by train, cars and buses. According to organisers, the demonstration was 1 million strong.
The class tensions in Spain are brewing a social explosion. Unemployment has risen to 6 million, (26 percent of the active population). Of these, 37 percent have lost all welfare benefits. Some 630,000 families now receive no income whatsoever. According to the NGO Caritas there are currently 3 million people living on less than €307 per month, whilst Eurostat confirms the existence of 13 million people (28 percent of the population) living in risk of poverty or social exclusion. In 2008 it was 23 percent. This has led to resistance on the part of the workers and unemployed. An average of 27 protests are held every day and 184 strikes broke out between January and February amounting to 2,668,556 lost hours, an increase of nearly 6 percent from the same period the year before.


from reuters.com:

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.

The so-called "Dignity Marches" brought hundreds of thousands to the capital, according to estimates of Reuters witnesses. Travelling from all over Spain, they were protesting in support of more than 160 different causes, including jobs, housing, health, education and an end to poverty.

Banners urged the conservative government not to pay its international debts and to tackle Spain's chronically high unemployment of 26 percent.

"Bread, jobs and housing for everyone", read one banner, "Corruption and robbery, Spain's trademark," said another.



from presstv.ir:

The mass rally, dubbed "the Marches for Dignity 22-M", included trade unions, civil servants and organizations representing people evicted from their homes for not being able to make mortgage payments after losing their jobs.

Spain has been struggling to deal with its worst economic crisis since World War II, which has left millions of Spaniards jobless and unable to make a living.

A fifth of the country’s population is living under the poverty threshold as defined by the European Union's Statistics Office (Eurostat). The dearth of jobs and the deepest austerity in more than 30 years have pushed average household income down 10 percent since 2008.

Prime Minister Mariano Rajoy’s government has been sharply criticized over its austerity measures.

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