Coal mines ignite in Asturias (with updates)

Coal mines ignite in Asturias (with updates)

Coal miners in the historically militant Asturias region of Spain have been fighting a bitter struggle for survival. Please see the comments below for frequent updates.

Around 8,000 miners have been involved in ongoing strikes and militant protests after the government announced cuts to subsidies for the region's coal mines.

There are around 40 mines in the country, mainly in the north, where they offer vital jobs in an increasingly depressed economy. The end of the subsidy will effectively mean the end of those jobs, as Spanish coal prices will increase beyond those of imported alternatives. The strikers view winning the strike as essential to their livelihoods. It is increasingly becoming a set-piece battle as the government deepens its austerity program.

Consequently, they have utilised various forms of direct action to maximise the impact of the strike.

During the week, miners set up 16 roadblocks, severely affecting traffic in the region. One burning tire block caused a five-mile jam for over two hours. They also blocked access to the main port of Gijon, closed access to a major road tunnel after "persons unknown" sabotaged the CCTV, and protested outside a major power station. Attempts to break the roadblocks to transport people and goods in and out of the mines led to running battles with police. The strikers used rocks, concrete blocks, and home-made rocket launchers.

On Friday miners blocked several roads and two railway lines. A mineshaft is occupied, and strikers have camped out in the main square of the regional capital, Oviedo.

Posted By

Django
Jun 10 2012 09:20

Share


  • The strikers view winning the strike as essential to their livelihoods. It is increasingly becoming a set-piece battle as the government deepens its austerity program.

Attached files

Comments

Mark.
Jul 11 2012 10:23
fingers malone
Jul 11 2012 10:20
bricolage
Jul 11 2012 11:47

very powerful stuff being posted here.
does anyone know how long the miners plan to stay in madrid?

also facebook says there's some solidarity demo at the spanish embassy in london tonight.

fingers malone
Jul 11 2012 11:51

They've said they'll stay as long as it takes! The right wing city council say they can't camp in Plaza del Sol.

fingers malone
Jul 11 2012 14:01

People being beaten up on the demo right now

Sorry don't know how to do facebook photos.

fingers malone
Jul 11 2012 13:14

jesus it looks terrible

Auto
Jul 11 2012 13:33

Those photos are terrible... sad I guess the order has gone out not to let them take Sol at any cost.

wojtek
Jul 11 2012 14:29

David Villa, footballer for Spain and Barcelona, wrote on twitter:

Quote:
My admiration and solidarity to the miners. The 'black march' conquered Madrid and today the protests continue

Auto
Jul 11 2012 15:57

More photos are coming in from the wire photographers of the clashes in Madrid, including one that shows an injured CNT member.

Entdinglichung
Jul 11 2012 15:58

http://www.guardian.co.uk/business/2012/jul/11/eurozone-crisis-spain-austerity-bailout

Quote:
Olvidio Gonzalez, 67, a retired miner from the northern Asturias region, was hit in leg by a rubber bullet Wednesday and fell to ground.

Rescue workers took him away on a stretcher. A huge, round, bloody welt marked the spot where bullet hit.

"We were walking peacefully to get to where the union leaders were speaking and they started to fire indiscriminately. There was no warning," Gonzalez said.

fingers malone
Jul 11 2012 17:53

A little kid has been injured by a rubber bullet.

Sorry but can't do it, could anyone sort this out? Two links to the same picture.

Harrison
Jul 11 2012 18:34

fuck thats awful

fingers malone
Jul 11 2012 19:25

I think that building the police are guarding is the Ministry of Industry.

The woman who is speaking at 2:13 says "you won't win, cowards. Torturers of workers. We are fighting for our food."

Mark.
Jul 11 2012 20:37

The last video is a police charge in Sol after the march. On twitter there's a photo of people taking refuge in a shop to get away from it.

Mark.
Jul 11 2012 20:22

The photos fingers malone was trying to post:

Some more photos from the Guardian

fingers malone
Jul 11 2012 20:42

thanks for that Mark.

Mark.
Jul 11 2012 21:04

de nada - some more photos here

Mark.
Jul 11 2012 22:02

The police charge in Sol - photos and videos. Also here. There were clashes after this. I'm not sure if they're still going on.

Sol earlier in the day:

fingers malone
Jul 11 2012 22:11

I've got messages saying they were from about an hour ago.

Mark.
Jul 11 2012 23:39

Taking refuge in Corte Inglés

Mark.
Jul 12 2012 09:52

More videos from the march yesterday from El País and ABC

The police charge in Sol

Ed
Jul 12 2012 15:18

Yo, just wanted to say, nice one everybody for keeping us updated.. this is all really amazing stuff!

Melnitz
Jul 12 2012 19:09

But what now? What could be the next step for the miners? I mean, they're already in strike. Is there a broader movement arising? Linking the different fights together?

sabot
Jul 12 2012 20:32
Ed wrote:
Yo, just wanted to say, nice one everybody for keeping us updated.. this is all really amazing stuff!

ditto!

Mark.
Jul 13 2012 11:47

Roarmag: Police crackdown as striking miners march on Madrid

Another video of the police losing it in the centre of Madrid yesterday

.

Melnitz wrote:
But what now? What could be the next step for the miners? I mean, they're already in strike. Is there a broader movement arising? Linking the different fights together?

There seems to be talk of more protests and strikes from other workers who will be affected by the cuts announced yesterday - see this report from El País for example - but tbh I don't know enough to add much.

Various other marches are due to arrive in Madrid on 21 July - links here.

On Saturday the 'first meeting between miners and indignados' is being held in Ciñera in Asturias, organised by 15M Mieres.

fingers malone
Jul 13 2012 06:55

Broader movement arising is the only thing that is going to get them anything, as you said they are already on strike and as the govt wants to shut the mines anyway....

There is a fair bit going on already, other strikes, marea verde (anti education cuts) and anti evictions and so on, (Madrid has the highest number of resisted evictions, according to the PAH website) but it depends if things really go up a gear or not.

It does look like people are not really going for the "bloody greedy strikers" line anyway! Maybe it is partly the special place miners have in peoples affections. But it does feel like everyone in Madrid who is pissed off has turned out for this. The march from the coalfields really did seem to get massive public support and enthusiasm. It certainly worked on me, I got up early for work every single day so I could watch it!