Spain anti-austerity protests draw thousands
MADRID (AP) - Several thousand people marched to Spain's parliament in an anti-austerity protest on Saturday, but were held back from surrounding the building by metal rail barricades and a large police presence.
The "Surround parliament" protest group had called on people to gather at Plaza de Espana and march on the legislature to express their opposition to spending cuts and tax hikes introduced by Prime Minister Mariano Rajoy's government.
Police on horseback and with dogs had earlier arrived at Neptuno fountain next to parliament in preparation for crowd control duties as the protesters marched 2.3km from the muster point.
Protesters were accompanied along the route of the march by a strong police escort, including vans with reinforced windows.