Peaceful protests in Spain have come to an end as Police fire rubber bullets at protesters in Barcelona

Spanish police fired rubber bullets and swung truncheons to disperse anti-crisis protesters in a Barcelona square Friday as cleaning crews cleared their tent camp.

Catalan police in anti-riot gear moved in after about 50 protesters sat down on the street to block a convoy of cleaning trucks leaving the Plaza de Cataluna square with remnants of the encampment.

Police, some with plastic shields, were shown on television dragging protesters along the street and swiping with truncheons at activists, who had been chanting: “They shall not pass.”

Demonstrators chanted: “The people, united, will never be defeated!” and “No to violence!”

Cleaning crews with 10 lorries dismantled the last of the tents under police surveillance. Later, police left the square and let thousands of demonstrators flood in.

By the evening, at least 5,000 people were in the square protesting against the police intervention, some having put up tents. A dozen police vehicles were in streets leading to the square.

“What happened today was awful but it is a warning” for the country’s leadership, said Ramon Deltran, 50, a psychiatrist.

“This is what police brutality achieves, that much more people protest. But also it is the fault of the politicians who don’t listen to us,” said Maite Loureiro, 30, an unemployed designer.

In Madrid’s Puerta del Sol square, hundreds of demonstrators, many carrying flowers, shouted “Barcelona is not alone.”

Violence in Barcelona

Link if above YouTube Video does not play: Indignats | Desallotjament de la Plaça Catalunya

There are also more videos and comments at the above link.

The New York Times has still more videos and commentary in Police Clash With Protesters in Barcelona

El País newspaper reported that 121 people were lightly injured, including 37 police officers, “as the result of a police charge” on the protest camp. Video posted on the Web site of 20minutos, a Spanish news site, showed the officers charging at protesters.

Citing a spokesperson for the authorities, who would not be named according to Catalan policy, Bloomberg News reported that about 300 people had been removed from the square.

The authorities said that police had left the area by 1 p.m. El País reported that protesters had returned to the square. Just a few hours after the arrival of police officers, protesters were passing out fliers decrying their behavior, and calling for people to return to the square at 7 p.m. to protest. On Twitter, an appeal went out for protesters to “bring flowers” when they returned. In the square and elsewhere in the city, there has been a nightly banging on pots and pans at 9 p.m. to show support for the movement.

Update: Here is a photograph of Plaça Catalunya taken by a reader, Víctor Riverola, at 7 p.m. local time on Friday evening showing that thousands of protesters returned:

Mike “Mish” Shedlock
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