Violent protests erupt in Bilbao at Global Forum conference
Hooded demonstrators break windows at bank branch offices
More than two dozen hooded protestors threw rocks and broke windows at several bank branch offices on Monday in Bilbao, where a group of influential international financial leaders were meeting for the Global Forum Spain seminar.
At least three people were arrested and police were trying to identify the rest of the demonstrators, Europa Press reported, citing Basque law enforcement sources.
The protests were organized by the Gune platform – a group spawned from the ELA and LAB unions – to protest the economic forum in Bilbao, according to the Basque Country’s Ertzaintza police force. IMF director Christine Lagarde, who was on her first visit to Spain, was the guest speaker at the conference.
Demonstrations began with two marches, which started out at Sagrado Corazón and Arriaga squares. When demonstrators reached Gran Vía, a group of hooded men infiltrated the march and began setting trash bins on fire and using them as road barricades.
According to the police, at least one of the protestors used a club to break windows on parked vehicles and bank branches. Some of the hooded demonstrators also threw buckets of paint at the government’s immigration office on Gran Vía.