Thousands of protesters swarm Spain’s capital

A huge anti-austerity rally surrounds Madrid's parliament building, despite aggressive policing

Topics: Indignados, Anti-austerity, Eurozone, Protest, Spain, Austerity, Occupy, Madrid,

Thousands of protesters swarm Spain's capital

UPDATED:

Thousands of protesters clashed with riot police in Spain’s capital Tuesday in a showdown on the doorstep of the parliament building in Madrid.

Tuesday’s march aimed to manifest rage against a new round of harsh austerity measures the government will announce in the 2013 budget on Thursday.

A manifesto for the day stated that “the current situation has exceeded all tolerable limits” and demanded a reconstitution of the entire Spanish government, including electoral and tax reform, and a moratorium on Spain paying national debts in the service of “private interests.”

The Indignados, as the Spanish anti-austerity, anti-capitalist demonstrators are known, strongly influenced Occupy organizing models and tactics last year, including repurposing city squares for encampments and assemblies.

Twitter reports and livestream videos have captured police firing rubber-coated bullets into the crowd, while others were seen striking protesters with batons. BBC Europe estimated over 1,300 riot police have been deployed. The sun has set over Madrid, but the crowd around the parliament remains thousands-strong.

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This image, posted by Twitter user @_cypherpunks_ captures the size and density of the crowd:

UPDATE: Live reports via Twitter suggest that the police are growing increasingly aggressive with the crowd as the night wears on. Twitter user Alejandro Sierra posted this dramatic image of nearly a dozen police swarming violently around one protester:

 

Natasha Lennard
Natasha Lennard is an assistant news editor at Salon, covering non-electoral politics, general news and rabble-rousing. Follow her on Twitter @natashalennard, email nlennard@salon.com.

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