Tuesday, October 14, 2003

Rain! Rain! Go to Spain!

Last week I was awoken early by the chants and drums of a demonstration outside my apartment building. But as is always the case in Spain, there is a very fine line between a protest and a carnival, and so given the lack of slogans, the early morning was the only clue that no happy celebration was intended.

The Stage Workers Union were demanding better pay from the highly popular and productive Madrid theatres. However, despite the seriousness of the issue it still managed to turn into a very colourful affair, with the participants entertaining the passing crowds as they made their way to work.

Unsurprisingly lurking in the background were the Combat Clad Municipal Police. The Robocops, who believe that every day is a "Dublin, Reclaim the Streets day", grew restless and decided quite unecessarily to break up the fun. As you can guess the protestors were adamant that their peaceful manifestation would not be stopped. Police batons then began to fly and hand cuffs began to close but to little effect. The reaction of the police made the demonstrators all the more determined and a stalemate ensued. Soon back-up Power Rangers arrived and scenes were set to get very ugly......

Thankfully Mother Nature intervened with heavy rain. Within five minutes there was not a demonstrator nor a spectator to be seen on the streets.

Feeling the Crunch of a Police Baton was one thing, but obviously nobody had ever said anything about Rain !