Police fire on Occupy Madrid

Spanish police in Madrid fired rubber bullets and baton-charged "indignado" protesters holding an "Occupy Congress" action against a new round of announced austerity measures the night of Sept. 25. The clashes broke out as protesters tried to tear down barriers blocking access to the parliament building, where legislators were voting to approve the austerity package. Spanish media reported that at least 20 people arrested and more than a dozen injured. Cleared from the gates of the parliament building, the protesters retreated to nearby Plaza de Neptuno, which they continued to hold for hours, yelling "Shame!" and "Resign!" toward the parliament chambers.

Spain is instating the austerity budget—which will raise the sales tax while slashing education and health outlays, instating a freeze on public sector hiring, and lowering unemployment benefits—in exchange for an emergency loan from the EU. A 24-hour general strike has been declared in the Basque Country and Navarra to oppose the austerity package, with the anarcho-syndicalist National Labor Confederation (CNT) taking the lead. (AFP, AFP, Nodo50, La Haine, Sept. 26; BBC NewsLa Vanguardia, Barcelona, A-Infos, Sept. 25)