The government of Madrid has put all of its support behind the acts of police brutality that took place Tuesday in the Spanish capital. Voices of congratulation came from various bureaucrats who said the the actions taken by the National Police “demonstrated their professionalism in very difficult circumstances.”
The most vociferous of all public servants was the Spanish government delegate in Madrid, Cristina Cifuentes, who said in an interview for National Spanish Radio that the police “received a disproportionate attack” with stones, screws, bottles” and other objects. The Government delegate “absolutely” defended police actions and accused protesters of “extreme violence”.
Some political parties such as PSOE and IU have denounced police actions as “repressive”, “disproportionate” and even “excessive”. The protest, called 25-S Surround the Congress prompted the local government to protect the Congress building with 1,400 armored riot police, who in their fights with protesters, resulted in the imprisonment of 35 people with 64 others wounded.
The Madrid delegate compared the protests to the February 23 coup blaming the incident on “radical and anti-establishment people” and regretted that the demonstration did not end in “peaceful” manner. Speaking later in the Madrid Assembly, Cifuentes detailed what she called a “proper and proportionate” by the police who according to her were “very professional” while “repelling aggression” from demonstrators.
She added that she had no knowledge of attacks on journalists, police excesses or failures by police officers to identify themselves should a protester requests it. She said that “if there has been a violation of the law, we will act accordingly.”
“If the police had not acted as they did, the protesters would have entered the Congress”, said Cifuentes who condoned the lack of identification of the anti-riot police saying that protesters sometimes attempt to photograph the badges, so they wear them underneath their protection vests. In the past, protestors have posted the badge numbers and photos of riot police officers on social networks and called for full investigations on their violent acts.
The Madrid delegate continued to accuse demonstrators of using “tactics” to “provoke the police.” She said that some people posted manual on the internet on how to provoke police, but she presented no proof that those people were part of the organization that called for the demonstration or that any of those individuals were in any way connected with the demonstrations.
“Yesterday was a clear example of this,” said Cifuentes, who pointed out some of these “tactics” as “drop to the ground when required by the police with their hands on their heads to make look like police abuse or scream when they are subject to detention. “The assembled made good use of the whole repertoire” to give a sense of “police brutality”.
In the halls of Congress, the Interior Minister Jorge Fernandez Diaz, has also supported police actions against the protestors and has called their actions as “extreme violence”. In his view, the police acted “magnificently” and “did their duty” to “some protesters who used too much violence.” Fernandez added that the police “fulfilled the law in particularly complex circumstances” and justified the actions taken by anti-riot police. “I commend the police, who acted extremely well and thanks to them the intention to illegally and unconstitutionally occupy Congress and coerce its members did not succeed”.
Demonstrations in front of Congress are prohibited when parliamentary activity is ongoing, which officials said was what prompted government to consider it as an illegal coup. In Spain the Criminal Code defines the protests before the House of Representatives as punishable with jail if they disturb the “normal functioning” of the Chamber.
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Contributed by Luis Miranda of The Real Agenda.
Luis R. Miranda is the Founder and Editor of The Real Agenda. His 16 years of experience in Journalism include television, radio, print and Internet news. Luis obtained his Journalism degree from Universidad Latina de Costa Rica, where he graduated in Mass Media Communication in 1998. He also holds a Bachelor’s Degree in Broadcasting from Montclair State University in New Jersey. Among his most distinguished interviews are: Costa Rican President Jose Maria Figueres and James Hansen from NASA Space Goddard Institute.