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article imageProtesters clash with cops in anti-austerity protest in Madrid

By Anne Sewell     Apr 26, 2013 in World
Madrid - As unemployment hits a record high of 27.2% and Prime Minister Mariano Rajoy is set to announce yet more austerity measures on Friday, a clash between protesters and the police broke out in Madrid, Spain.
According to the National Statistics Institute Spain's unemployed hit at all time high of 27.2% in the first quarter of 2013. This means that 6.2 million Spaniards are unable to find jobs.
Prime MInister Rajoy is set to announce yet another raft of measures on Friday which are aimed at tackling the recession in the country, but the people are angry and have once again hit the streets to demonstrate against the government's inability to solve the crisis.
15 people were detained in Madrid, including one minor yesterday as they demonstrated near the Spanish Parliament in Madrid. Uniting under a slogan of “Besiege Congress” they are calling for the government to quit.
Around 1,400 policemen surrounded the Parliament building and politicians apparently canceled the session for that day.
The protesters waved signs reading “6.2 million reasons”, referring to the latest jobless figures and when police charged them they chanted “You have jobs, we do not.”
As angry demonstrators threw bottles and rocks at the police, the officers responded with batons and also shot blanks into the air.
Prior to Thursday night’s planned “siege” of Congress 15 arrests were made, the majority of them at Madrid’s Complutense University. Eleven people were detained on the campus and are accused of public order offenses. Another four people belonging to the anti-capitalist “Black Block” group were arrested on Wednesday evening as they attempted to attack a bank branch with fireworks, gasoline and flares in the Fuencarral area of Madrid.
Protesters in the rally near the Spanish Parliament building on April 25  2013.
Protesters in the rally near the Spanish Parliament building on April 25, 2013.
Authorities say the arrests were made due to “resistance and disobedience to authority and refusing to identify themselves."
According to Popular Party delegate in Madrid, Cristina Cifuentes, “We will act with a sufficient police presence to guarantee democracy, the rule of law and to protect Congress. We will maintain public order and public safety.”
There are concerns that the demonstration will grow and that the rally, organized through social networks by the ¡En Pie! Platform, (Stand Up Platform) is set to attract violent elements. There is particularly concern about a fleet of buses that is reportedly heading for Madrid from Barcelona, Valencia and Valladolid, and also the possibility of attendance by some extreme left and anarchist factions.
“These violent splinter groups need infantry, which students and other social collectives provide. According to our information, most of these groups are not going to back this protest, but we will have to wait and see,” said a police source.
According to police, at least 14 officers were injured during the clashes. The media does not state how many protesters were injured, but when watching the above video it is to be expected that there were many.
More about Spain, Madrid, anti austerity, Unemployment, Protest
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