Thursday, April 25, 2013

Spanish Police Launch Arrests Ahead of Planned Demonstration

TEHRAN (FNA)- Spanish police made four arrests in the early hours of Thursday of people who they suspect were preparing incendiary devices ahead of a demonstration planned in the evening.

Anti-government protestors would stage another attempt to "Surround Congress," just 24 hours before the latest round of economic and fiscal reforms, which will almost certainly include further spending cuts, are to be announced by the government of Mariano Rajoy, Xinhua reported.

The Spanish Interior Ministry confirmed that the four arrested, all belonging to anarchist groups, were found with flares, firecrackers and also two jerry cans of petrol as well as clothes to enable them to hide their faces, white masks and latex gloves.

The police say the detainees were preparing to burn down the office of a bank.

A total of 1,400 anti-disturbance police have been mobilized for Thursday's demonstration with the President of the Congress, Jesus Posada commenting that "the right to protest is one thing, while violent acts to attack or lay siege to Congress are quite another."

Security forces were expecting a maximum of 8,000 demonstrators to take part in the protest, which is also being held the same day Madrid announced that unemployment in Spain has passed the 6.2 million mark.

The demonstration was organized by the platform "En Pie" (on your feet), a group which has described itself as "peaceful, but not pacifist."

A similar demonstration on September 25, last year ended with almost 100 people injured and widespread scenes of chaos as riot police baton charged demonstrators and the ugly scenes continued into the early hours of the morning.

Calls have come from all parliamentary groups for calm with the spokesperson of the Socialist (PSOE) Party, Soraya Rodriguez asking for a "peaceful demonstration." The spokesman of Izquierda Unida, Jose Luis Centella, meanwhile, said his party had "nothing to do," with the calls, while adding his support to any peaceful protest against the current economic situation.

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