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    Posted November 14, 2012 by
    WilliamAllen
    Location
    Barcelona, Spain
    Assignment
    Assignment
    This iReport is part of an assignment:
    Europe's financial crisis

    Spain at the Edge of Revolution

     

    CNN PRODUCER NOTE     iReporter WilliamAllen was walking through the Gothic Quarter in the Spanish city of Barcelona when he spotted an angry crowd of people outside a bar that had opened despite the general strike in the country [first image]. "When the bar owner saw the crowd he quickly closed it," he said. "The police had to put themselves between the crowd and the bar's door." Our iReporter says that even before the strike the city had been tense, with poverty visible on the streets. "Outside of every supermarket there are people begging for money," he said. "I wish I could do something to help. The austerity measures are exacerbating the problem, right now the economy is in a downward spiral - taking money away from people is not going to make it come back up."
    - sarahbrowngb, CNN iReport producer

    I had to walk the five odd miles from my apartment in Barrio Sants, and then back, to see first hand the anger roiling Barcelona.

    A general strike was called across Spain for November 14th and public transport is at a standstill. Take one of the few operating taxis at your own risk.

    'Fight the tyranny of the markets.' 'We won't quit until the rich start committing suicide.' Signs I saw along the way.

    The suicide sign is especially poignant after 53 year old Amaia Egana leaped to her death from her sixth floor balcony in the Basque region as bank officials accompanied by police arrived to evict her from her home last Friday.

    Miguel Angel Domingo 54, hanged himself under similar circumstances in Grenada last month. His brother discovered his body after he didn't show for work at his newsstand that morning.

    Unlike in the US, in Spain you're still liable for the full cost of your home even after the bank repossess it. For the newly homeless and hopelessly in debt death sometimes seems the only way out.

    Here in Catalonia the local police, the Mossos d' Esquadra, have been granted political cover after many of them flatly refused to turn the elderly and destitute onto the sidewalk.

    The accompanying photos shows a furious crowd confronting a terrace bar in the Gothic Quarter that defied the call to strike and riot police rolling down Via Laietana in Barri Gotico.
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