The “Marcha Negra” (Black march)

On July 10th 2012 hundreds of miners divided in two columns gather in Madrid after marching for nearly three weeks. They are coming from Aragón, Castilla y León, Andalucía and Castilla La Mancha. These marches coincide with several [...]

The “Marcha Negra” (Black march)

On July 10th 2012 hundreds of miners divided in two columns gather in Madrid after marching for nearly three weeks. They are coming from Aragón, Castilla y León, Andalucía and Castilla La Mancha. These marches coincide with several miners locking their selves up in different pits in the north of Spain. Their claims: to meet with the minister of Industry to stop the 63% cut in the 2012 budget for the mining industry. These cuts would imply the closing down of several pits and the economic collapse of various regions long awaiting a viable alternative to coal.

 

After having walked hundreds of kilometers, the “Marcha Negra” (Black march) enters Madrid through the Puerta de Moncloa where thousands are awaiting to show their support. The miners cross the main streets of the city surrounded by a mass of people who accompany them to the Puerta del Sol, where the march ends.   

 

Next day, a massive demonstration starts at Plaza de Colón towards the Ministry of Industry to demand resuming negotiations. Again, thousands gather to support the miners along the Paseo de la Castellana. Just before the head of the demonstration arrives at the Ministry, some protesters throw firecrackers in its surroundings, heavily guarded by riot police. As union leaders start their closing speech, police start charging against the protesters, ending with 8 arrested and tens wounded. The leaders of the two main unions (CCOO and UGT) do not interrupt their speech.

 

The same evening, another demonstration in support of the miners has been summoned by the “Hay que pararles los pies” Platform from Atocha to Puerta del Sol. It takes place peacefully until its arrival at Sol. The events of that morning make the tension evident during the demonstration and fifteen minutes after ending, some protesters throw sparklers against the riot police, with new charges following.