You'll Be Surprised By Why There Are Violent Riots in Barcelona

by
Lauren Burgoon
A working class section of Barcelona is under siege with nightly, fiery clashes with police over a building demolition.

Days of protests over plans to knock down a building escalated into violent riots in Barcelona, Spain, with police clashing with protestors and dozens of arrests.

Unrest broke out after Barcelona authorities attempted to raze Can Vies, an abandoned building that squatters have used as a community center, training center and concert hall for 17 years. The attempted demolition so angered residents that thousands took to the streets for four nights and counting of angry demonstrations.

The gatherings quickly devolved into youths pelting police with bottles and stones, setting bins on fire and breaking storefront windows, according to reports. More than 60 people have been arrested.

Photos posted to Twitter show the fiery clashes: 

 

 

While authorities blame the squatters for the destruction, a protestor said Spain's tanking economy, high unemployment and home eviction fueled demonstrators' anger. 

"These protests are not just about the eviction. The eviction was just one more blow after the crisis. The people are fed up taking blows and in the end, they explode," a Can Vies demonstrator told AFP.

Authorities unexpectedly halted the demolition Friday, the Los Angeles Times reported, and offered to talk with demonstrators, but protestors called the move "disingenuous."