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article imageSpanish coal miners march to Madrid in anti-austerity rally

By Anne Sewell     Jul 11, 2012 in World
Madrid - A group of Spanish coal miners, angered by the huge austerity cuts in government subsidies to the mining industry, walked for 3 weeks to meet in Madrid.
Digital Journal reported on June 20 about a group of protesting miners, who used home-made bazookas against the Spanish police.
There have been ongoing protests in several mining towns and villages in Spain, over the Spanish Government's plans to slash subsidies to the coal sector by over 60%. This would reduce subsidies from 301 million euro last year, to only 111 million this year. According to union officials, these austerity measures could jeopardize the jobs of about 8,000 coal miners and up to 30,000 other people indirectly employed in the mining sector.
Now the coal miners have walked for nearly three weeks under a blazing hot summer sun, from the coal pits where they try to make a living, to the city of Madrid. The miners have walked as much as 450km from their mining towns in northern Spain.
Jose Gomez, 37, works at a coal mine in the village of Fabero, in the province of Leon. He told the BBC, "People hear and see us on the roads. It's a way of keeping in people's minds, so we can take back what is ours."
Two columns of miners met up in a Madrid suburb in the evening. The miners, wearing hard hats with lights turned on, were joined by thousands of sympathizers in the city, as can be seen in the video above.
A livestream of the event can be viewed here.
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