Thousands of police demonstrate in Madrid against pay cuts

2012-11-17 14:58:36 GMT2012-11-17 22:58:36(Beijing Time)  Xinhua English

MADRID, Nov. 17 (Xinhua) -- Thousands of police marched through the center of the Spanish capital, Madrid on Saturday to protest against cutbacks in their salaries.

The march, which was called by the Sindicato Unificado de Policia (SUP), was headed by a banner reading: "Work as they pay you, work as they treat you: For our rights. Spanish Police in conflict."

The organizers claimed 11,000 took part in the march. The marchers were out of uniform but all dressed in the same blue color.

One-hundred-and-one-year-old Severiano Arnaiz, who celebrated his birthday on Saturday was given an honorary position at the head of the march, which was also supported by police unions from the Basque region and Catalonia.

The General Secrtary of the SUP, Jose Maria Sanchez Fornet expressed the anger felt by his members at the current government of Mariano Rajoy and the previous government of Jose Luis Rodriguez Zapatero.

"We are here today because they are making cutbacks, but also because they are cutting more from those who have the least and from us, who are decent policemen. We want to say to the politicians, that enough is enough and we are not going to shut up."

"We are going to continue protesting and demanding respect and that they pay what our job deserves and they don't dip their hands into our pockets again," said Sanchez-Fornet, who added that the police had been mistreated and also disrespected by their country's government.

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