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
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.
A collection of photos from the demonstration and a timeline of
events from the Indy Media Center: