Violence Erupts as Thousands Descend on Madrid, Demanding Resignation of Congress
Police clashed with thousands of protesters today as “Occupy Congress” demonstrations filled the city’s Plaza de Espana.
Police barricaded the entrance to the Congress of Deputies in order to protect lawmakers from the angry crowd. The protesters are demanding the immediate dissolution of the nation’s parliament and a new election, stating that they were misled in the most recent election.
The Spanish government is expected to present new reforms and austerity measures tomorrow as it unveils a draft budget for 2013.
Violence erupted when protesters attempted to tear down the barriers erected to protect the congress. The police brutal began to use truncheons, tear gas and rubber bullets in an unsuccessful effort to disperse the crown. The Spanish media reports that fourteen people have been injured, with one in critical condition, and 22 demonstrators have been arrested.
Spanish federal laws enable imprisonment for up to one year of anyone protesting and disrupting the business of Congress.
15M Indignants activist Pablo Mendez spoke to the Associated Press news agency: “This is just a powerful signal that we are sending to politicians to let them know that the Spanish bailout is suicide and we don’t agree with it, and we will try to prevent it happening”.