Pictures of broken display windows, burnt garbage containers and confrontations between anti-riot police and furious protesters hogged the headlines in Spain and our Facebook newsfeeds.
I was there but I did not muster the courage to witness all the action. I could get a good shot from them and they were indeed ‘newsworthy’, but it was just common sense to run for one’s own safety when the crowd dispersed was running towards you. Besides, that was not the General Strike was all about.
It seems that most of the news reduced the event to a mob and a gang of vandals, where in fact there were toddlers, school children and families in the crowd, which occupied the whole stretch of Paseo de Gracia going to Plaza Cataluña.
People tend to forget the real essence of what really took place, the reason why more than 800,000 people were there–to oppose the recent budget cuts in health, education and other social services and the labor reforms which according to a kababayan whom I interviewed, would take away more benefits from the workers and getting fired and unemployed in Spain will be much easier, hopefully not easy as what the placard says:
In English: If you read this, you’re fired. DIT