Madrid in a state of emergency

Protests against the pope’s visit and against the high costs for the taxpayers are massively suppressed

The spanish capital is experiencing a kind of undeclared state of emergency. While the many pilgrims who are being brought to madrid from all over the world are celebrating pope benedict xvi. The police are trying to clear the city center of all those who are critical of the visit of the reactionary head of the catholic church. After an authorized demonstration was broken up on wednesday, which had been repeatedly disrupted by the faithful, an attempt was also made on friday to silence all dissenting voices of the emporters.

Once again, journalists and photographers documenting the brutal actions of the national police were beaten up. The daily newspaper público has released a video. It shows not only how a young woman was beaten by the "by the counterinsurgency units" by the insurgent units. Because afterwards the journalist daniel nuevo prugel is hit because he photographed the event. Público joins nuevo in the ranks of several journalists who, in the evacuation of the central square "puerta del sol" were attacked or harassed by those who were supposed to provide for their safety. The newspaper also refers to the case of gorka ramos, who was beaten up by a dozen police officers during a protest of the emporia at the beginning of august and was subsequently arrested.

At present, anyone in madrid who does not clearly identify himself as a pilgrim or who is in any way critical of the pope’s visit may be affected. A video by stephane m. Grueso shows how a female cyclist is beaten up. Her offense was that she previously tried to intervene when two other women were being beaten up. Grueso’s website has more photos and videos of police brutality, reminding some in madrid of the darkest days of the dictatorship.

In the meantime, even the government seems to be getting queasy about what is happening in the capital and the autonomous region ruled by the post-fascist popular party (pp). While the government spokesman had defended the dissolution of the authorized demonstration of secularists, the government now wants to investigate the attacks of police units on critics. From within his own party (psoe) the voices became louder and louder criticizing the brutality in the eviction of the square late wednesday. The spanish ministry of the interior now wants to clarify the responsibilities, after the new minister of the interior had justified the action shortly before.

Maria dolores carrion, who is responsible for the police in madrid, has virtually disappeared, because even her comrades are now demanding her resignation. But unlike the united left (iu), the pp is not asking for her resignation because of the police violence, but because the secular demonstration was authorized in the first place. After all, the pp had already tried in advance to have the demonstration banned (the emporia in spain defy the pope), which an ultra-catholic apparently wanted to attack with poison gas (attack in madrid on pope opponents planned). Thus, the secretary general of the pp sees the blame only in those who want to defend their right to demonstrate. For maria dolores de cospedal it is a matter of "a demonstration of boundless intolerance and lack of respect for religious freedom and freedom of expression".

Amazing that cospedal only defends the freedom of expression of the religionists. Spain is currently getting a taste in madrid of what will happen when, after almost 10 years in opposition, the pp is allowed to return to power in the early elections in november over the psoe’s fatal failure in the economic crisis.