Far-left party critical of 'disproportionate and repressive' police response
CUP representative speaks out against government's handling of Women's Day protesters, while main unions call for gender abuse laws
The far-left CUP party called for the Catalan interior minister to "resign or provide an explanation once and for all" for the "disproportionate and repressive" response by the Catalan police in breaking up protests on International Women's Day on Friday.
Coinciding with a day-long general strike to demand improvements in women's rights, the protests took place all over Catalonia from early in the morning, with groups of protestors blocking major roads in towns and cities.
Outside Barcelona's stock market, CUP MP Natàlia Sànchez said Catalonia is experiencing a time of "constant protest" and called on people to join the various demonstrations in favor of women's right planned for Friday evening.
Sànchez was also critical of the "liberal feminism" promoted by the conservative Cs party, which she described as "feminism of the powerful," and said that the feminist movement is one of the main "bulwarks" against the rise of the far right.
Trade union reactions
Meanwhile, the secretary of the Feminist Struggle group of the COS union, Cel Muñoz, criticized the minimum services for Friday agreed by the government and the main unions, calling it a "clear boycott of the right of workers to strike."
As for Catalonia's two main unions, CCOO and UGT, their leaders called for laws against gender abuse to help achieve equality between men and women. CCOO's Javier Pacheco and UGT's Camil Ros also made a call for people to join Friday evening's demonstrations.