Article originally published in Spanish in elDiario.es.

Since last Friday the president of the Community of Madrid, Isabel Díaz Ayuso, announced the selective closure of 37 areas in the region to stop the expansion of the coronavirus, the affected areas have staged protest actions against the restrictive measures that affect above all south of the capital and autonomy. The last one took place this Thursday in front of the Madrid Assembly, located in the Vallecas district, one of the places affected by the restrictions. The mobilization has ended with a heavy police charge of riot police against the protesters that has resulted in three arrests.

“We have had to act because they have attacked the agents”, justifies a spokesman for the Police Headquarters the charges against the dozens of people who were protesting against the confinement measures approved in Madrid to combat the spread of the coronavirus. In total, three people between the ages of 17 and 19 have been arrested and six have required medical attention and four officers have been injured with various contusions. The riots have lasted half an hour.

About 300 people have gathered as of 7:00 p.m. this Thursday, as in many other health centers in the region, at the Angela Uriarte health center, in Puente de Vallecas, against the selective confinements and cuts in the public health system. The spokesperson for Unidas Podemos in the Assembly, Isa Serra, participated in this concentration. Half an hour later, some of them, around 50, have descended towards the Madrid Assembly and, according to eyewitnesses have indicated to Europa Press, they have cut Pablo Neruda street, at the height of the regional Parliament, something that does not it was neither authorized nor communicated to the Government Delegation.

Given this, agents of the Police Intervention Unit (UIP) have intervened “to restore order and mobility in the area.” As a result of these charges, two protesters and three policemen have been slightly injured. The Samur-Civil Protection toilets who have arrived at the scene have treated the four policemen minutes before 8:00 p.m. for minor bruises. They have also assisted a 17-year-old girl with a breach in the head, who wanted to transfer to the hospital but has resigned. And a 19-year-old boy with a slight head concussion, who has not needed to be transferred to any health center, a spokesperson for Emergencias Madrid has detailed to Europa Press.

In the Order of the Ministry of Health, already in force in 37 basic health areas, travel and non-essential activities are restricted, while the restriction of entry and exit from these areas is established except for work, medical, access to educational centers, return to the residential area; assistance to the elderly, minors or dependents; access to banking or insurance, legal or administrative entities; attend exams or any other priority, urgent or force majeure need.

BACKGROUND

On Friday, Isabel Díaz Ayuso, the president of the Madrid region, announced that 850,000 people – many of them living in some of the poorest parts of the city and surrounding area – would be placed in partial lockdown from Monday in an attempt to arrest the second wave of the virus.

Thousands of demonstrators assembled outside the parliament building on Sunday, to denounce measures that they claimed are “inefficient and discriminatory”. One of the biggest crowds formed outside the Madrid regional parliament, where there were moments of tension when the protestors tried to approach the building and the police sought to stop them. “More healthcare and fewer police,” they chanted.

 

 

 

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