About 5,000 police officers marched through the centre of Madrid on Saturday to protest salary cuts and the thinning of their ranks as Spain grapples with its sovereign debt crisis.
The officers, who had travelled from across Spain. rallied three days after the nation was gripped by a general strike over the austerity cuts. Health and education workers have already taken part in similar marches.
“Citizens! Forgive us for not arresting those truly responsible for this crisis: bankers and politicians,” read one banner held aloft by a line of officers as they marched to the interior ministry.
The rally had been called by the main policing union SUP.
“Each year, between 1,500 and 2,000 police officers retire and 125 are recruited, which means in three or four years, there will be more insecurity and crime in Spain,” warned SUP general secretary Jose Maria Sanchez Fornet in a speech outside the ministry.
Anxos Lores Tome, a 36-year-old police officer from Galicia in northern Spain, said her days off had been whittled and with cuts of about 300 euros a month, she is today earning 1,450 euros ($1,845) a month — less than the 1,500 euros she got when she joined up a decade ago.
Juan Manuel Aguado Torres, an officer from Grenada in the south, blamed Spain’s leaders for the ongoing woes.
“If the country is functioning badly, it’s only because of the politicians,” the 60-year-old said.
For 33-year-old Antonio Perez, “the problem is they take from us to give to others, like the autonomous regions and the banks.”
Spain’s eurozone partners in June agreed to extend to Madrid an emergency rescue loan of up to 100 billion euros to help its stricken banks.
The Spanish government has imposed austerity cuts aimed at saving 150 billion euros between 2012 and 2014, prompting an angry backlash that saw hundreds of thousands of people protest in Wednesday’s general strike.
“We are worried about the situation in the country in general,” Anxos Lores added.
“The politicians aren’t creating work and with the cuts they can’t create consumer demand, just the opposite.”
In extreme crises, conservatism can turn to fascism. Here’s how that might play out
5 movie "Back to the Future," Marty McFly (played by Michael J. Fox) travels in a time machine from the 1980s to the 1950s. When he tells people of the '50s he is from the '80s, he is met with skepticism.
1950s person: Then tell me, future boy, who's President of the United States in 1985?
This article first appeared at Salon.com.Marty McFly: Ronald Reagan.
1950s person: Ronald Reagan? The actor? [chuckles in disbelief] Then who's vice president? Jerry Lewis [comedian]?
Who are the young people behind the Catalonia protest violence?
The violent protests that have swept Catalonia over the jailing of nine separatist leaders have involved veteran anarchists and youthful troublemakers as well as outraged separatists, some of whom became radicalised only recently.
"I am 24, have a masters and a job and I never imagined myself setting fire to a barricade with my face masked," said one protester who gave her name only as Aida.
She has joined in protests every day since they erupted in the region after Spain's Supreme Court on Monday sentenced nine Catalan separatist leaders to up to 13 years in jail for sedition over a failed 2017 independence bid.
Body language expert dissects the power dynamic at play in the iconic Nancy Pelosi photo
Last week, President Donald Trump met with Democrats at the White House to discuss the way both sides could work to fix the President's mistakes in Syria. Democrats left the White House saying that the President had another meltdown during the meeting, which prompted Trump to claim Speaker Nancy Pelosi (D-CA) was the one who had a meltdown. He then posted photos of Pelosi sitting quietly and another photo of Pelosi standing and pointing at him.
Body language expert Dr. Jack Brown posted the photo and gave his own analysis of what he believed was happening in the photo.
"When a person has little or no empathy — and/or when they're far from their emotional baseline, their ability to interpret how others will view an event becomes dramatically distorted," Brown explained Sunday. "Rarely has this behavioral axiom been better exemplified than last Wednesday at the White House."