Spain -Coal miners’ reach Madrid and clash with police -August 4, 2012

The March Negra (Black march) of the miners’ protests reached Madrid on 11 July, after a journey on foot of over 400 kilometres that they set off on 22 June. Hundreds of thousands attended the UGT and CCOO rally against the closure of the mines on Madrid’s Plaza de Colón. The miners from the country’s northern provinces have been on strike for over a month, as reported in previous newsletters, protesting against the large scale retraction of public subsidies for the mining sector that has already lost over 40,000 jobs in the last 20 years. As supporters joined the protest and the government announced yet more austerity measures, clashes occurred between the protesters and riot police. The police shot with rubber bullets at the protesters, who threw rocks at the police. Although talks between the Industry Ministry and the unions have not yielded any results, unions sent their members back to work whilst they contemplate further actions.

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