5,000 people were on the streets of Burgos last night demonstrating against the remodelling of a main avenue that residents think is unnecessary, badly planned and corrupt.
— Albi ❄ (@albavazquezz) January 14, 2014
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The marchers intended to go to the townhall to demand the release of residents arrested during yesterdays fuss.
But the demonstration quickly went downhill after police refused to let the marchers through to the main square, and running battles with police erupted all over the town all night long.
The battles were still going on at 6am, when the first workers turned up at the construction site, and 250 residents, including elderly OAP’s, refused to allow them onto the site, despite the sleet and low temperatures. The works were suspended for another day.
— acamPAHdaxixon (@acampadaxixon) January 14, 2014
A joint statement by the townhall and the Ministry of the Interior that “organised groups of delinquents” were travelling to Burgos to demonstrate was apparently contradicted by the Police, who said that everyone arrested and identified so far were residents of the city.
A further 100 specialised anti-riot police have been sent to the city.
According to locals, although big name shops and banks have been vandalised by the rioters, no looting is going on and no small shops or businesses have been affected. Indeed, even during the riots, you can see local bars still open in the background with people popping in for a coffee and a chat. Hey, no need to be animals about this!
The PSOE have asked for the Minister of the Interior to appear in Congress to explain what is happening in the city.
And roaming pickets of residents are visiting hospitals, schools and public buildings in the town to attract support for a city wide strike to end the works.
And a demonstration has been called in Madrid Plaza del Sol for tomorrow evening to support the Burgos citizens.
40 people have been arrested so far, but only two people have been charged. 11 more are on release, but must appear in Court every 15 days, and the rest have been released until a court date can be arranged.
The social media meanwhile is going wild, with citizen journalists reporting on every aspect. Twitter hashtag is #Gamonal.
The local newspaper, which was heavily pro-townhall in its weekend edition, has been hacked and allegations of sleaze and corruption against local politicians inserted.
It’s also emerged that two local kindergartens has been merged (closing one) by the townhall to save €13,000 a year. The cost of this avenue is over €8 million, but the townhall doesn’t get kickbacks on kindergartens.
The news on #Gamonal is starting to reverberate around the world, especially in the USA where it coincides with Rajoy’s meeting with Obama. Fox News was running stories about it this morning.