The central government’s delegate in Madrid, Cristina Cifuentes, has announced that she will be opening an investigation into the organizers of last weekend’s so-called “Dignity Marches,” which were convened in protest at social spending cuts. Cifuentes took the measure after requesting a report from the State Attorney as to whether administrative infractions were committed, with a view to levying fines on the organizers.
Speaking on the Catholic Church-owned radio network Cope, Cifuentes cited three of the columns that formed the march as having caused public order incidents as they passed through the municipalities of Arganda del Rey and Perales del Río. Participants in the demonstration came from all over Spain to take part in the supposedly peaceful event.
“We are going to start an investigation that will make use of the full reach of the law, with significant economic sanctions,” she explained.
The violence that flared up after the march on Saturday night, which left 101 injured (including 67 police officers), will not be included in this probe. Nor did Cifuentes refer to the 24 arrests made during the violent scenes.
The government delegate went on to say that the law states that the organizers of such demonstrations “have to guarantee and be responsible for the order and execution” of such marches, and that the police are there “to help and not to assume” that responsibility.
Cifuentes added that she was “saddened” to see how the majority of the protestors who were arrested on Saturday had already been freed, given that, in her opinion, they were clearly “viciously going for the police” and “trying to kill them.”
Sol camp-out removed
Meanwhile, riot police on Tuesday broke up an attempt by demonstrators to stage a sit-in in central Sol square, in protest at the arrests made after the march at the weekend. Several dozen people who were attempted to camp out in Sol, in a manner reminiscent of the mass protests seen in the square in 2011, were forcibly removed by officers at around 8am. One man was arrested for disobeying the police.