While 90% of the protesters were peaceful in their marches against labor reform, the other 10% brought the senseless ruckus.
You can view all my pictures from 29M (which stands for 29th of March) here and I've run a few of my favorites below.
According to the mayor 300 of these trash containers were burned.
I liked taking photos of BCN's traffic control signs pointing out the obvious, "Center city traffic is restricted because of protests", as in the photo below.
The same goes for this picture.
This one reminds me of the paintball-mode cheat code for Nintendo 64's Goldeneye 007.
Anarchists. Ruthless enough to destroy your bank. Kind enough to carefully not desecrate the picture of the girl with Down Syndrome.
These guys (the anarchists, not people with Down Syndrome) were dedicated though, as I was a few miles away from downtown and every single street-side ATM was destroyed.
This photo came out nicely. I couldn't understand 90% of the protesters chants, so Sarah gets the quote of the day with, "I don't like this. I've only seen civic unrest in the first version of The Sims."
If you're wondering if I made up for missing out on Tucson's '97 and '01 basketball-related riots by wearing my Cats shorts yesterday. Don't worry I beared down.
I also got to check off "being in a riot" from my bucket list. I was careful to not get directly in the center of the action, but even getting near it was a bit scary as the riot police in BCN don't use pepper spray but instead disperse crowds by driving their tank-style trucks full speed at crowds. A tactic which results in crowds of running in every which direction at any given moment. Somehow the police only arrested 41 people, which seems awful low in my mind.
Any shop that foolishly tried to stay open during the strike was met with a crowd of protesters who would scream and throw shit at the shop until it closed down. In some cases patrons were essentially trapped in cafes. Other shops would stay open with their gate down, only letting in customers one at a time.
Throughout the day I referred to the city as Summer Streets, a reference to NYC's Summer Streets, which is Park Avenue is closed to traffic and only open to pedestrians and cyclists. BCN's 29M Streets closed almost the entire downtown to traffic, allowing Sarah and I to roll through the entire downtown on streets that are normally heavily congested.
If you want to lose more faith in humanity, you can watch a video of BCN's main train station being ransacked. The video also features one brave train station worker regaining his footing after being sprayed down, only to be knocked out right afterward....Here's the local paper's photo gallery. Check the rest of my photos.