Target: Mariano Rajoy, Prime Minister of Spain
Goal: Stop rash measures against largely peaceful demonstrators
Recent anti-austerity protests in Madrid turned violent, resulting in over 100 injuries and 30 arrests in the first day alone. The violence continued the following day, with police using overly aggressive measures to disperse a small group of unruly protesters, including using rubber bullets and beatings. Members of the press have reported being physically and verbally abused by police officers while covering the protests.
Hundreds of thousands of demonstrators gathered in the streets to protest budget cuts that have severely decreased the quality of education, health care, and employment availability in Spain. The cuts come after billions of dollars in corporate bailouts to the same banks that caused the country’s initial economic crisis.
The protests were largely peaceful until, during the night, a small group of masked protesters began to throw rocks at riot police overseeing the demonstration. Police responded by charging into the group of protesters, beating many with batons, and firing tear gas into the crowd. Authorities also shot rubber bullets indiscriminately at the larger group of demonstrators after the masked men retreated.
Violence continued the following day during a rally to free those arrested during the initial clash. A photographer was pushed and called vulgar names by an officer after recording police brutality toward demonstrators.
The actions of a small group of demonstrators prompted police to treat the entire gathering as violent. Police overreaction has resulted in the injury of dozens of peaceful protesters, and even some members of the press. Demand that the Spanish government assure no further unnecessary violence toward innocent demonstrators.
Dear Mariano Rajoy, Prime Minister of Spain,
Protests in Madrid have recently turned violent after police went to extreme measures to disperse a largely peaceful crowd. When a small group of masked protesters began to throw stones at riot police, they responded by beating demonstrators and firing tear gas and rubber bullets. Many of these actions were directed at a large group of peaceful protesters, rather than targeting only the violent ones.
As a result, dozens of nonviolent demonstrators have sustained injuries or been arrested. Even members of the media have reported inappropriate treatment, such as being pushed and verbally abused by officers after recording police violence.
Police are unfairly classifying large numbers of protesters as violent due to the actions of only a few. Peaceful protesters are being injured and detained due to police aggression. I demand that violence be stopped against all peaceful protesters, and that any violent protesters are dispersed in a manner that minimizes any possibility of harm to those who are innocent.
[Your Name Here]
Photo credit: Ateak Ireki via Creative Commons