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(en) Turnout in Spain

From "Chris R" <christopher@nodo50.org>
Date Mon, 17 Feb 2003 21:01:03 +0100 (CET)

      A - I N F O S  N E W S  S E R V I C E

> Hi, Enormous demonstrations in Spain.
Madrid: Police say 660,000 (a very high figure coming from
the police), organisers say 2,000,000. Impossible to calculate
as the streets included in the march were insufficient to hold
all the people, so some were leaving while others arriving, and
side streets were full of people trying to enter "official"
streets. Clearly well over a million, but impossible to make
calculations base on square metres occupied in designated
marching areas. The most "squashed" march I haver ever
participated in. One of the actions was to set off sirens
warning an attack and demonstraters were to fall on the
ground as if dead. Impossible to do so for lack of space.
Certainly the biggest or one of the biggest demos in Madrid. I
saw both CNT and CGT blocks, maybe 5,000 between the two,
but lots of red-and-black flags mixed in throughout the march
(it was impossible to find blocks unless you arrived well early,
and CNT and CGT do not have "obligatory" formations,
people tend to move around). Strik
 ing the complete lack of police (only helicopters visible), and
a very large amount of home-made signs (normally in Madrid
you mostly see signs and banners made by organisations, not
individuals). Several ambulance and fire engines temporarily
broke up the march, very unusual, but perhaps due to logical

Barcelona: Government says 350,000, Municipal Police say
1,300,000. El Mundo newspaper (normally close to
government) says 1,300,000. That is one out of every five
people in Catalunya. Reported as biggest demonstration ever
in Catalunya.

Some demonstrations (for example, Ceuta) were not allowed.
And some demonstrations counted with an overwhelming
majority of the local inhabitants, like Ibiza with around
66%-75% participation. 

It should be noted that while all the marchers were against
the war, a lot of the publicity for the demonstrations has been
generated by political parties (like the Socialist PSOE
currently in the opposition which, when in power, brought
about the Spanish participation in the first Golf War) who are
using this as an attack against the PP government, in light of
forthcoming municipal elections. 


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