So today, the 29th of March, was Strike Day in Madrid. What was affected? Well, every public service and several businesses. For example, trash was not collected, so the streets were littered with waste. This is also because the normal street cleaners weren’t in operation. The bus lines and metro lines operated at about 20% of their normal amount. Several flights out of Madrid as well as trains were cancelled and re routed. I had heard that this public display of unsatisfaction would be occuring today, but when I left my apartment I was shocked to see the affects.
The strike apparently took place in cities all over Spain. Industry and transport Unions were protesting against the government, and in my 21 years, today was most certainly the largest and most impressive strike I have ever seen. Reporters said that all over Madrid, there were hundred of thousands of citizens who met up at predetermined meeting points and marched to Puerta del Sol where the Union leaders gave speeches.
On this day, I decided to go to the Prado and spend some time in the Raphael and Goya galleries.When I arrived, there was a sign saying some rooms may be closed due to workers attending the strike. After spending a couple of hours in the museum, I went to read for a bit in Retiro Park, where everywhere I looked were people handing out leaflets about the stike and wearing stickers in support of the strike. My idea was to relax in the shade, enjoying the beautiful weather while reading, but that clearly was not going to happen.
The biggest suprise came when I walked back to my apartment around 6. Heading back from Retiro, I passed by the square with the Banco de Espana and the Spanish Post Office. The police had shut down the four rouds leading to the busy intersection and thousands of protestors had taken to the streets, preparing to march to Puerta del Sol. They were chanting things, blowing whistles, marching, and waking flags. Police were everywhere to monitor the protests… it was LOUD! I was happy to get back to my apartment and away from the pandemonium that was striking the city outside. Only in Madrid…