Monday, October 18

Calm Monday after the weekend storm in the Madrid bottle

Despite being the eve of a holiday, Monday night was placid in the Parque del Oeste in Madrid. The place was practically empty at sunset, after having been the scene on Saturday of a massive bottle that led to altercations, robberies and clashes with the police. The balance of the disturbances was 60 detainees and a new occasion for the attack of the local and autonomous governments to the state, on account of the supposed little repressive zeal of the Government Delegation.

“Everything is much calmer,” explained a local police officer at around 10pm on the device mounted at the entrance of the park, next to the Moncloa transport interchange. Dozens of agents, in uniform and plainclothes, vans and cars of the local and national police guarded the main access to the compound. But this time, unlike during the weekend, there were no calls for WhatsApp or Telegram and the thousands of young people laden with bottles did not make an appearance, if perhaps some small group conveniently diverted and without incident. At midnight the park was deserted. In the stretch of asphalt road the remains of broken glass from two days before could still be seen.

As during the bottle on Saturday there were robberies and attacks on some of the participants, in addition to clashes with the police, the PP recovered the thesis that behind the phenomenon there is a matter of citizen security, rather than public health. Thus, the president of the Community of Madrid, Isabel Díaz Ayuso, said that the bottle as such is not the problem, but the opportunists “who take advantage” of the concentration of people to engage in vandalism, and asked the delegation for police support of the government. The mayor of the capital, José Luis Martínez-Almeida, assured, in turn, that there were organized gangs behind the riots.

The Government delegate, Mercedes González, questioned the above and stated that those involved did not respond to the structure and hierarchy of what in police terms is considered a gang. “We will be able to take thousands of agents out to the streets every weekend, but we will have to address once and for all how young people are getting out of this crisis after having been with restrictions on their mobility for almost two years and how children are consuming alcohol at a few hours when they should be at home, “he said, according to Europa Press. The bottle is prohibited in the Community of Madrid by law since 2002, when Esperanza Aguirre ruled, although the effectiveness of the rule has been fluctuating over the years.

The police device on Monday was not at all overwhelmed. “Some slipped in in the afternoon, but since they see that there is no one, they get bored and leave,” reasoned a municipal agent. There were many officials, but few offenders, so that the police were dedicated to dissolving, flashlight in hand, the smallest refugee groups in the darkness of the first section of the park. This was the case of three young people sitting on a bench, whispering, surprised by the headlights of a patrol car.

The above does not mean that on this holiday eve the drink did not run. Across Calle Princesa, next to McDonald’s in Moncloa, four young women with the characteristic grocery bag full of bottles of alcohol and soft drinks explained that their plan was to start and finish them “in line at the disco.” They had not heard of the scandal of the weekend.

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