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(en) 20 hospitalised in Madrid, millions march in Spain

From "Chris R" <christopher@nodo50.org>
Date Mon, 24 Mar 2003 09:14:51 +0100 (CET)


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Over the weekend of 21st and 22nd March, Madrid demonstrators against the
Iraq war suffered unusually severe police violence:
*20 demonstrators hospitalised (none in vital danger).
*146 demonstrators injured. Presumably a lot of other demonstrators cured
their injuries at home or sought medical attention elsewhere.
*23 policemen "injured" (from hitting too hard?)
*The police attacks and popular resistance lasted more than two hours on the
21st and over four hours on the 22nd.

The injuries against demonstrators were caused by rubber pellets and police
bludgeons. Smoke bombs were used to create insecurity amongst the
demonstrators and to prepare for police attacks. Police violence of this
type has not been seen for decades in popular demonstrations in Madrid.

It should be mentioned that the demonstrators started many spontaneous
marches, which escaped the hand of the police and of the institutional
political parties and trade unions. The six inner lanes of the Castellana,
the main boulevard in the capital, were occupied by demonstrators for the
first time ever spontaneously and without an official permit.

SOME SLOGANS CHANTED IN MADRID OVER THE WEEKEND
*This is what we get for having a fascist government. [Which some changed to
"this is what we get for having a government"]
*People, resign! The government doesn't accept you!
*No, no, they [the government] don't represent us! No, no! [According to
polls, only 4% of the Spanish population supported a unilateral attack
against Iraq without UN security council approval]
*Hey, hey, they call it 'democracy' but it isn't.
*Freedom, freedom!
*Illegalise the PP [conservative party in government]
*Resign, resign! [referring to government]
*No war, no war!
*Assassins, assassins!

Meanwhile, President Aznar, the visible face of the Spanish government was
severely criticised:

*Aznar's arse, a military target.
*Hey, hey, Aznar is a vampire, he wants to suck our blood, ok, ok, ok, let
him suck it, let him suck it. [untranslatable play on words]
*Aznar, don't you realise, Bush is a married man?
*The new Monica Lewinsky has got a moustache.
*Aznar, send one of your sons.
*The "Five of cups" is for Aznar [referring to a recent serial killer who
leaves Spanish playing cards next to his victim, the next one will be the
five of cups]

And a new slogan was:

*Police, join us! [Which some changed, using the same rhyme, to "Police,
die"]

Around three million people demonstrated in different cities in Spain on 22
March against the war in Iraq. There is a lot of anger and frustration. The
flags of anarchosyndicalists, of anarchists, and homemade signs were
prominent.

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