OVER 60 people were injured and 35 arrested last night during anti-austerity protests in Spain’s capital.
The Coordinadora 25S* demonstrators aimed to surround the Congress of Deputies at Plaza de Neptuno in central Madrid.
Organised via Facebook, Twitter and other social networking sites, the gathering hoped to draw attention to the ‘kidnapping of democracy’.
“Democracy has been kidnapped. On 25 September we are going to save it,” said the Coordinadora 25S website.
15M activist Pablo Mendez added: “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.”
Unfortunately for demonstrators, the public nature of the pre-demo campaign also meant police already had a defence operation meticulously planned.
Police fired rubber bullets as demonstrators attempted to tear down barriers blocking access to the parliament building.
“I saw riot police with their batons charging at protesters trying to split up the crowd,” said expat Mark Smith, who lives near the site.
The Coordinadora 25S website reveals further protests are planned for tonight in Madrid, Barcelona and Zaragoza as well as another attempt to ‘surround the Congress of Deputies’ on Saturday.
Tomorrow, Rajoy’s government will reveal its draft budget for 2013.
* Coordinadora 25S = 25 September Coordinating Commitee