Here is a first hand account of a major protest involving over a million angry people who never existed, according to the Spanish media.
On 22nd March 2014, ex-president SuÃ¡rez was almost dead. Spain was well prepared for his passing and the news channels spoke of little else. SuÃ¡rez was a decent man who helped Spain to make its transition to “democracy”, so many years ago.
The transition was a fiasco, and Spain is paying the price now, but that wasn’t necessarily his fault. What is hard to believe is the level of obsession with his passing. when simultaneously a major historic event was taking place in and around Madrid. This major event went by almost unnoticed by the entire Spanish media, and was, consequently, completely unnoticed by world media.
But why would the Spanish media ignore such an event? Are they not champions of information and free thought? Well not any more, not in Spain! Within the mainstream media, most of the best producers and newspersons have already lost their jobs or have abandoned them. Please the government or you are out! It’s no secret that all thinking citizens depend on the internet for their news. And it follows that any foreign media depending on second hand news from mainstream Spanish media is either making a big mistake, or is too corrupt to care.
So, what was this event? Many days earlier, six columns of angry protesters marched right across Spain and descended on Madrid. They were the vanguard of the 22M “Marchas de la Dignidad”. At the last minute they were reinforced by at least one million protesters from all over Spain.
Sickened by government corruption, lies and repression, the more vocal citizens decided to show that president Mariano Rajoy and his government cannot rob them of their dignity. One of the latest infamous acts passed by the government is an anti-protest law, but the protesters will not accept it.
They arrived in Madrid, peacefully, to state their case, this time in unprecedented numbers – over a million, perhaps over two. The media reported only some thousands. But I was there and I saw crowds of many abreast for miles! Aerial photographs confirm it too. So, the protesters were largely ignored and dismissed by the media and they were charged at and shot at indiscriminately by the police. The bullets were made of rubber or plastic but they left people in hospital, one with a testicle destroyed, another permanently blind.
These were no terrorists, just people demonstrating. The police even chased and beat journalists attempting to film the event. Perhaps these were the only journalists trying to do their jobs!
But later, when the demonstration was finishing, an extremist element took it upon itself to seek retribution. The riot police received a hail of bricks, stones and beatings with sticks, and some of them ran or crumbled. Heavily armed and with plenty of reserves, but poorly organised, the infamous riot police were beaten that day in Madrid. It is the worst humiliation the Spanish police have suffered in modern times. Over 60 policemen were injured, one with serious head injuries, another lost his teeth… Some people will say they deserved it. What we do know is that this is just the beginning.
Police injuries were readily reported in the media (as an afterthought) as was the number of arrests (over one hundred) but the size and legitimacy of the event has been buried, together with news integrity.
It’s hard to believe that this is a modern country in Europe, because the tyranny reeks so strongly. But the protesters will not be intimidated. “No tenemos miedo,” (we are not afraid) they say, though nobody could blame them for being afraid. There have been hundreds of demonstrations against this government, but this was a landmark. Perhaps it is Mariano Rajoy himself who should be afraid.Tags: Europe
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This post was written by Mike Summers