More Than 300,000 Protest Against EU Summit

| March 25, 2002

More Than 300,000 Protest Against EU Summit

More than 300,000 people demonstrated in Barcelona on March 16, in one of the largest gatherings ever to rally against a summit of European Union leaders, according to the Agence France Presse. The march, largely ignored by the U.S. media, was peaceful, although riot police fired tear gas at the end of the protest to stop small groups of people who smashed bank windows.

Several dozen people were slightly injured in the resulting melee, but it was a contrast from the violence of previous EU summits - like last June's protest in Gothenburg, Sweden, that left a demonstrator shot and wounded.

The protesters, many anti-globalizationists but also large numbers of Catalan and Basque nationalists, marched for almost three hours. Because of the threat of both street riots and Basque terrorist attacks, 8,500 police officers were on duty in the city. Spanish police at the French border also turned back vehicles with people whom they suspected were planning to join Saturday's march.

The days leading up to the march were filled with protests as well. At a soccer match, three protesters ran onto the field and two chained themselves to the goal, causing fans to throw objects at them during the resulting game delay. On Thursday, approximately 100,000 people turned out for a march organized by the European Trade Union Confederation. On Friday, police detained more than 20 people in skirmishes around the city. French activist Jose Bove, best known for his 1999 assault on a McDonald's restaurant, also came to Barcelona for the march.
--Kate Garsombke
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A collection of photos from the demonstration and a timeline of events from the Indy Media Center: Click here.

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