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Indymedia Images Of 500,000 Barcelona Protesters

Barcelona Indymedia

Eyewitnes account of a day out protesting by Guido (8:54am Sat Mar 16 '02)...

9.ooam first port of call is Sagada familia for the "Lobby Busters" action. For the the first half hour there are few activists, many police and even more press. The Police are searching everyone and getting increasingly twitchy as the numbers grow. At 9.45 they put on their riot gear. At 10.20 critical mass arrives blocking a nearby junction. Critical mass becomes corporate media mass as the afformentioned journos rush into the road much to the annoyance of the stuck motorists and watching plods who intervene to unblock the road.

As the assembled "lobby busters" move off behind a drumming band, the Police without warning or provocation, lay into a section of the crowd hospitalising at least one person and severely beating several others

including several journos with visable EU press accreditation. To their credit the protesters refuse to be provoked and the march moves off complete with band and several giant puppets. Before long a surprisingly loud sound system joins and people start dancing, even the police seem to mellow out a bit. First port of call is "La Caixa" bank where speeches and visuals are provided to list their various crimes against humanity. This is followed by several more theatrical visits to places of interest. The mood remained calm and festive when we left at 1.00pm to head for Liceu.

We arrive to find that several thousand people have gathered for an action called "MARS ATTACKS! Millionaires can cry too". The Police presence is large and intimidating, by half two both sides have had enough of each other, some bottles are thrown and all hell breaks loose. Again the Police wade into the crowd beating anything that gets in their way including several press photographers and tourists. Fighting breaks out in several side streets and continues for about half and hour until the Police eventually regain control by locking down the entire area and closing Liceu station.

At 7.30 we are at La Gracia for a roving demo in solidarity with south american countries who are suffering under neo liberalism and being abused by the CIA. The demo has a Samba band a giant stilt walking Uncle Sam/death, and several puppets and banners aimed at Coca Cola amongst others. Rallys are held at the embassys for Columbia, Uraguay, Brazil and Cuba. At the Cuban building embassy workers come to the window and hang out a Cuban flag and banner saying "NOBODY SURRENDERS HERE!!". The demo is loud, proud and peaceful.

At 10.30 the days events are rounded off with a memorial picket for Carlo Guiliani. 300 gather in a park in the northeast of the city to hear speeches light candles and remember Carlo. A moving end to a hectic day.
Elsewhere in the city the fighting continues with several arrests and more people injured.

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