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

Jun 10 2012 09:20


  • 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


fingers malone
Jun 19 2012 08:51

It says on the union webpage that the strike was a complete success but I can't find much more info.

Some newspaper report seems to be saying that the transport strike in Asturias has ended.

Miners from Germany, Great Britain, Poland and Chile have gone to Asturias to show solidarity and have gone to visit the miners who are still occupying two mines.

Jun 19 2012 09:06

according to

Les districts miniers des Asturies ont répondu avec un arrêt total des mines de charbon lors de la vingt-deuxième jour de grève dans cette région. Les protestations les plus dures ont eu lieu avec l’installation de barricades et de troncs d’arbre sur quatre routes, AS-112, AS-177, AS-253 et AS-254, et sur les lignes ferroviaires de FEVE à Caborana et à Laviana, ainsi qu’à Renfe dans le secteur de Ciaño et La Felguera. Pendant ce temps, la grève des mineurs appelée pour 24 heures dans 31 localités de León et de Palencia a également été largement suivi », avec un taux de 100% de grévistes, tout comme dans d’autres communautés touchées. Boulangeries, écoles, bars, bureaux et supermarchés dans les zones minières castillanes ont fermé en signe de solidarité avec les travailleurs du charbon.
fingers malone
Jun 19 2012 09:25

Thanks for that Ent.

fingers malone
Jun 23 2012 18:22

gave up with photos again

Jun 23 2012 18:26

I'd sorted out the Astur Wars one before you deleted it! Copy the url of that one (by right clicking on it and then copying) and do the same thing again.. the other one had brackets in the address which fucked it up, dunno if there's a way round that.. maybe just copy the link in the post..


fingers malone
Jun 24 2012 09:55

Thanks mate, though maybe it's worse knowing you might be watching while I incompetently struggle with the computer!

Apart from posting catapult porn, does anyone know any more about the dispute? How is it going?

[edit] Ed mate! I still can't fix the picture!

Admin edit: sorted! :)

fingers malone
Jun 24 2012 10:09

There is a march of 80 miners leaving from Mieres (Asturias) to Madrid which is 284 miles.

Jun 24 2012 14:32


fingers malone
Jun 30 2012 09:02

The miners in Asturias have stopped blocking motorways and have gone to Carreño (just west of Gijon) to help clean up the coast as there has been a massive oil spill.

[edit, according to the news, checked on some pro miner facebook sites. Don't know how long for.]

Imo oil spills and the destruction of the coast is actually an issue with a lot of class anger behind it. A few years ago there was a massive spill off the coast when a tanker, Prestige, broke in half. The government infamously dealt with the sinking boat very badly which made the spill much worse.
As the spill was approaching the coastline there was no official action to deal with it and the fishermen were out desperately trying to contain the spill with their own boats. I remember a video where some politician on the beach giving a press statement had to be protected from furious fishermen, if I remember right, by the camera crew! There was a popular mobilisation to clean up the spill and there was general popular fury in Galicia and Asturias that the government was totally negligent. The economy of Galicia and Asturias was affected really badly by the spill and people felt that they had been abandoned to their fate.

fingers malone
Jun 30 2012 09:54

Posteriormente, los mineros se dirigieron hacía la Plaza de la Escandalera donde visitaron a un hombre que se encuentra en huelga de hambre por un desahucio en el que corearon lemas como 'Aquí están, estos son, los mineros del carbón' y 'Solidaridad'. Muchos de los mineros colaboraron económicamente con la familia desahuciada.

The miners went to the Plaza de la Escandalera (in Olviedo) where they went to visit a man who is on hunger strike to protest an eviction. Many miners gave money to the evicted family.

Jul 1 2012 11:14

Spanish miners solidarity commitee

fingers malone
Jul 2 2012 19:37

The road blocks are back on, 11 miners arrested.

fingers malone
Jul 2 2012 20:34

warning- there are no rockets in this video.

Miners marching to Madrid, arriving in the city of Leon.

Jul 3 2012 12:24

also from coal action scotland, support for the spanish coal riotous anti-austerity strikers, reflecting on spainish revolution in 1936 - with comment in response to Dave Douglas' (ex_National minerworkers union ) anti-ecologism...
Revolution as Self Defense: Spanish Coal Miners Fight Back! see comments....

also : -

The rich hatin' rhetoric of coal action

" Opencast coal mining in the Douglas Valley is about the ruling class destroying communities for their own financial gain. It’s about ecological destruction on a massive scale for capitalism’s unquenchable thirst for cheap energy. It’s about absentee fat-cat land-lords making millions off land that shouldn’t be theirs. It’s about morally corrupt local (and national) government putting profit before people. Join us 12-18 July in the Douglas Valley, South Lanarkshire, to build on 20 years of community struggle and four years of direct action against the UK’s biggest opencast mining company. It’s time to Take Back the Land! "

"... We’ll be taking on the UK’s largest opencast coal mining company, landlord-aristocrat-banker Lord Home and South Lanarkshire Council – together they conspire to make a few people very wealthy, whilst communities are left disempowered, disenfranchised and to suffer all the impacts that living next to opencast mines bring. The Douglas Valley is a sacrifice zone for the ruling class – but don’t despair! Scottish Coal are in big financial trouble and there’s been no better time to hit them where it hurts. In fact, its time to Take Back the Land! "

plus bonus link

fingers malone
Jul 3 2012 23:10

I'm on my lunch break in the public library, and the computer isn't working properly so I can't write a proper report or put up photos, but there's something going on in Ciñera.
I can't read all the reports due to the computer but people are saying the police have attacked miners' wives who were having a protest, the town is full of riot police and there is a photo of a miner being arrested with his face covered in blood...
Will find out more when I get home.

Caiman del Barrio
Jul 3 2012 16:54

Yeah Twitter's saying that Guardia Civil have 'occupied' Cinera while bemoaning a media blackout:!/search/%23Ci%C3%B1eraresiste

EDIT: in response, they've blocked another motorway in both directions, as well as the railway line just outside Cinera. Police are calling it a "battlefield" with 2 arrests so far:

Also, short doc on the miners with English subs:

Caiman del Barrio
Jul 3 2012 17:27
fingers malone
Jul 3 2012 21:47

fingers malone
Jul 3 2012 22:21

"Estamos encerrados en una casa del pueblo. Hay un herido, un señor mayor al cual han golpeado con las porras. Lo han detenido y nos ha parecido que iba sangrando. Esta persona es un vecino del pueblo, ajeno a las protestas, que se encontraba cogiendo pelotas de goma para fotografiarlas a posteriori.
Se suman ya cuatro detenidos. Entran en las casa pegando patadas en las puertas. Estaban usando gas, pelotas de goma y al final han pasado al enfrentamiento cuerpo a cuerpo golpeando con los escudos."

"We are shut up inside a house in the village. There is one injured person, an old man who they beat with truncheons. The have arrested him and it looked to us like he was bleeding. This person is a neighbour of the village, he wasn't involved in the protests, who they caught picking up rubber bullets to photograph them for proof.
There are now altogether four arrested. The went into the houses kicking in the doors. They were using gas, rubber bullets and in the end confrontation body to body beating people with their shields."

fingers malone
Jul 3 2012 23:04

El choque entre GRS y mineros llega a todas las calles de la localidad con una virulencia desconocida / Dos mineros son detenidos en una jornada marcada por la derrota minera

"The confrontation between GRS and miners overran the whole place with a virulence not seen before. Two miners were arrested in a day marked by defeat of the miners."

fingers malone
Jul 3 2012 22:39

cinera today

fingers malone
Jul 3 2012 22:53

Cuentan desde Ciñera en Twitter que los antidisturbios han irrumpido por las calles y casa por casa para hacer detenciones; disparan bolas de goma y gritan amenazas a la población. También se sospecha que estén usando inhibidores de frecuencia. En la televisión, nada. Informaros en red.

Palabras de un antidisturbio en la puerta de mi casa: “Disparar a todo lo que se mueva, a por ellos a saco”

"From Ciñera by Twitter. The riot police have charged down the streets and gone house to house to make arrests, they shot rubber bullets and shouted threats at the population. We also suspect that they are using frequency inhibitors. Nothing shown on tv. Get your information online.

Words of a riot cop in the doorway of my house:
"shoot anything that moves, go for them hard."

fingers malone
Jul 3 2012 23:15

Caption on facebook says:
"This is how the riot police pointed a gun at my mother! They aimed like this at everybody."

Those guns are for pelotas de goma, like rubber bullets.

Jul 4 2012 08:13

A very interesting text on the situation in Asturias:

Consideraciones sobre la lucha en la minería y en Asturies

Basically, it states the increasing fracture between the union leadership (Villa, the chief of SOMA-UGT, which also "controls" or, at least, controlled for some time, the PSOE in Asturias) and the increasing radicalized miners (in the struggle forms, I mean), and the near state-of-war in some regions of Asturias, as Fingers Malone reports show.

The 11th July, the Miner's march will arrive to Madrid. It seems there will be a 'welcome reception' form people of social movements and near to the 15-M. It will be interesting to see what happens that day.

Maybe, from next week I could write a little bit more. Sorry, quite busy right now...

Jul 4 2012 09:03

A "funny" note:

These are miners launching firecrackers and stones to Police (actually, Guardia Civil) using Tennis rackets... (wait to 2:20 at least)

This reminded me an old Spanish TV ad of NIKE (which, by the way was censured):

Jul 5 2012 23:01

fingers malone
Jul 6 2012 07:30

Another police attack on a village. After a roadblock on the motorway at 10 o'clock last night, police went into the village Polo de Lena firing gas at peoples' houses. Photos on fb of people's houses with smashed glass on the floor. A child has had to go to casualty due to inhalation of tear gas.

Last night:
"The riot police are still charging against the population who were peacefully supporting the miners in a miners' barrio in Polo de Lena"

"Polo de Lena looks like a town beseiged by an invading army. A lot of fear and tension. The pickets are holed up in the mountains and resisting."

This video contains rockets.

According to reports things have calmed down now, the road is unblocked and the police have stopped attacking but someone is reporting from another village about half an hour ago:

"Caborana is in a war situation"

Jul 6 2012 09:57

El País: The price of coal

fingers malone
Jul 6 2012 12:57

"Vaya locura de noche x pola de lena, lanzaron contra la gente k taba apoyando y mirando de todo a dar, lacrimógeno por mediu pueblu, y boles reventando persianes, coches... llegaron a meter un bote de humo en una casa y tuvo k salir la familia corriendo con una cria pequeña."

"Insanity last night in Pola de Lena, they attacked the people who were supporting or watching [the miners' action], tear gas in the middle of the village, and rubber bullets breaking through windows, cars.... they shot a smoke bomb into a house and the family had to run out of the house with a small child"

fingers malone
Jul 6 2012 12:55

More reports mentioning Caborana, Pozu Santiago, but not really any info.