Pubblicato: sabato, 29 settembre 2012

Spanish Government responds to Peaceful 25S Protest with Violence

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Exactly as the police and Government intended, writes Iurgi Urrutia, the peaceful 25S protest in Madrid turned violent.

In the lead up to the 25S protests, the Spanish Government tried to intimidate protesters by spreading rumours that fascists groups were behind the event; sending the police to arrest various organisers whose crime was simply to hold planning meetings and bearing a banner with the words “Occupy the Congress”, and comparing the planned protest with the coup

d’etat in 1981 led by General Tejero. None of it was true, and the streets of Spain have been flooded by citizens demanding democratic reforms.

It is important to note that the organisers of the event have been transparent about the organising and the aims. They held meetings in el Retiro, a central park in Madrid, and they frequently declared that this was going to be a peaceful protest. In fact, they stated that they would not stop MPs entering and exiting the Congress building and would respect the police

perimeter around the building. All they wanted was to ask for more democracy. Apparently, that’s a crime in Spain these days. The organisers arrested received letters, a few days before the actual protest, giving them a date for their trial. They could be facing one year in jail.

Exactly as the police and Government intended, the peaceful protest turned violent. They probably hoped to discredit the event through violence. The media will focus merely on the images of riots, police charging and protesters fighting police. But firsthand accounts give a different picture.

There were three main marches starting in three different points, Plaza del Sol, Plaza de España and Neptuno that converged in front of the congress. Police used “kettle” tactics to divide protesters into small groups. They often blocked access to streets and forced protesters down different paths. When police charged, protesters frequently put their hands in the air and sat down on the ground, instead of fighting. Most importantly, several first hand witnesses report that plain clothes police officers infiltrated the demonstrations and provoked the confrontations.

‘Democracy kidnapped!’ Clashes in Madrid as thousands surround

From early morning, the streets of Madrid were taken over by riot police. The police vans and helicopter were a presence felt all throughout the city.

VIDEO 1 Cargas en el Congreso

VIDEO 2 Video of police charges in Neptuno

VIDEO 3 ‘Rodea el Congreso’

VIDEO 4Protesters clash with police

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