Intermission Entry 29, November 17th, 2011, 10:08pm (GMT +0)
True to form, La Rambla remains one of the more interesting streets in the world. I'd been in Barcelona less than eight hours when I encountered a protest march coming straight down La Rambla. Fitting, considering what I've been blogging about lately.
It took more than a half an hour to go by, and by my (extremely) rough calculations, involved around seven thousand people. They were mostly college and high school students, with some groups of middle aged unemployed as well. It was an education protest, from what I could gather – many of the signs had to do with public universities and tuition. There were also representatives from socialist societies (maybe a political party in Spain?) and lots of people showing their pride in Catalan culture.
I can only assume that the choice to march directly through the heart of the tourist district in Barcelona was deliberately provocative. If so, it was successful, because there were lots of tourists very shocked by the disturbance. The police presence was very small, and there was not much need for one – the march was friendly, if indignant. Still, recent events here and in the USA have removed any desire that I had to work in law enforcement or the military – to be an unquestioning enforcer of the status quo is not something that I am intellectually or morally capable of.