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March 23, 2014
March 23, 2014

Bread, work, housing: the march for dignity Madrid 22M

Author: Sofia Tipaldou Translator: Anna Papoutsi
Category: Protest
This article is also available in: elespt-pt
Bread, work, housing: the march for dignity Madrid 22M

Dignity, bread and peace!

Up to two and a half million people took to the streets in Madrid yesterday to protest against the economic and anti-social policies of the government. Six blocks arrived in Madrid from all around the country; according to the Organisers of the March for Dignity (Coordinadora 22M), some 70,000 people travelled on buses (total of 900), trains, or by private means, and even on foot! (about a month ago they began their journey on foot to Madrid). Other blocks came from abroad, for instance from Berlin and Hamburg and other cities to join the protest.

Meanwhile, the police responded with a strong presence with 33 Police Intervention Unit (PIU) and a total of about 1,650 riot police officers in order to “prevent, as has happened in the past, after the completion of the peaceful demonstrations, some few violent actors from exploiting the night to provoke the police, throw objects or invade the streets blocking the traffic”. Perhaps for the same reason the Civil Guard stopped some of the buses that were heading to Madrid, as some protesters have reported.

The protests were attended by some 150 organisations, from those affected by the mortgage (PAH) to Izquierda UnidaDemocracia Real YA, unions, the Civic Front We Are the Majority (FCSM), 15M, and Coordinadora 25S as well as the fire-fighters of Madrid. Their goal is to spread a very simple message, according to the statement of the organisers: that people do not want to live in this economic and social deprivation, with suffering, poverty, hunger, and death, so that the banks and the economic elites continue to benefit at the expense of their lives.

“Society is waking up, your party is coming to an end”. Protesters denounced the conditions of “social emergency” under which the majority of the Spanish population lives and demanded that the government ends the cuts and resigns. Other slogans on the banners were demanding the liberation of the government from the Troika and the goal to pay the debt created by saving the banks. The full manifesto of the Coordinadora 22M can be found here.

The protest ended up in clashes, when a group of people tried to access the headquarters of PP (Popular Party). Some protesters tried to camp in the centre of Madrid. According to LaVanguardia, the riots ended up in 24 detentions and 101 wounded (67 of them being police officers). The Police on twitter called the protesters “spoilers of 22M” while the government spokesperson in Madrid, Cristina Cifuentes, accused the protesters of being “criminals, vandals and savages”.

And, becuase history is a good guide for the future, remember Mariano Rajoy who, after the protest “Occupy the Congress 25 S” in 2012, gave credit to thos who do not protest and don´t watch the news.

You know!

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Bread, work, housing: the march for dignity Madrid 22M by Sofia Tipaldou is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution-NonCommercial-NoDerivs 3.0 Unported License.

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