Taxi drivers in Barcelona have staged a demonstration on wheels, clogging a major street with their cars and parading an improvised gallows with an effigy apparently symbolizing their nearly-dead industry.
The rally, which was organized by local professional associations, involved around 1,000 taxi license holders serving the Barcelona Metropolitan area. After gathering on Monday morning, they slowly drove their vehicles through the center of the Catalan city, leaving free only a single lane for emergency services.
The protesters then parked their vehicles and walked towards the government building hosting the administration of Teresa Cunillera, Madrid’s delegate to Catalonia. They wanted to personally deliver their demands to the top official, who refused to talk to them.
The message was driven home by a gallows, which was mounted on top of one of the taxis, complete with an effigy hanging in the noose, which was apparently meant to symbolize the degree of desperation the drivers face.
Taxi services have been hit hard by the current recession in Spain. The protesters say they urgently need government support and a freeze on the repayment of bank loans, many of which are due next month, to keep their business afloat. Otherwise around 14,000 families face economic ruin.
The lack of reaction from the authorities has disappointed the protesters, and more protests like this will follow until the demands are heard, the organizers said.
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