Spain: Street Protests are Unstoppable

This post is part of our special coverage Europe in Crisis.

Since the miners arrived to Madrid, on strike to protest against the 63% cuts to their sector, the demonstrations haven't stopped in the Spanish capital. Since last July 10th there are daily protests in which different professionals like fire-fighters and government employees have joined. The police and army unions jumped in saying their patience also had a limit.

On July 19th many protests took place in several cities across Spain against the cuts announced by the President Mariano Rajoy. Also, the “Protest of the Unemployed” with thousands of unemployed marched towards Madrid from countless cities. Their arrival to the capital was on July 21st.

The biggest cut during Spain's democracy led by the Popular Party, added to the promises that this same political group have failed to fulfill systematically, and the insult to the unemployed by Parliamentarian Andrea Fabra with her famous phrase “Que se jodan” [es] (Screw them) (follow the conversation on Twitter under the #QueSeJodan hashtag) have been the sparks that have ignited the street demonstrations of the last days. The protests sometimes were not peaceful showing the people's anger while the authorities repressed them violently.

Protests against cuts in Madrid. Picture by Fotogracción.

Social media and the self-named counter-information media showed the events through images. We selected some of them here. (All the pictures – unless specified – were taken by Fotogracción and republished under Licence CC BY-SA 3.0):

Miners after walking 400km arrived in Madrid with their claims:

Miners walk with their regional flags in downtown Madrid.

There were difficult moments in downtown Madrid the day after the miners arrived. Riot police shot rubber bullets at the protesters who in turn responded screaming “shame you” (July 12th). Here are some examples of  the videos collected by the webpage Spain Revolution.

Pictures of the spontaneous protest of government employees in front of the Congress after it announced the cuts that will affect them- July 15th.

Government employees gathering before the majority parties’ headquarters,PP and PSOE, in front of the Congress.

A woman is arrested during the protest.

Images of the protests caused by the cuts and Deputy Andrea Fabra's “Screw them”.

A banner that symbolizes the social unrest that Spain lives.

Fire-fighters declare themselves “burned out”:

Mieres fire-fighters strip themselves to protest against the cuts. Photo by @elcomerciodigit.

A fire-fighter truck moves among the protesters.

Economy lessons in a balcony at Leganés, close to Madrid:

Clear complaint against President Mariano Rajoy's cuts published by @janc1991

Union call to a protest across the country on July 19th:

Banner calling for a protest.

This post is part of our special coverage Europe in Crisis.


Join the conversation

Authors, please log in »


  • All comments are reviewed by a moderator. Do not submit your comment more than once or it may be identified as spam.
  • Please treat others with respect. Comments containing hate speech, obscenity, and personal attacks will not be approved.