It started as what organisers had said would be a peaceful protest outside the Spanish Parliament. Within hours clashes had broken out between members of what has been dubbed,“The Occupy Congress” group and riot police.
They mounted baton charges after it was claimed the demonstrators tore down barriers which had been erected during the day to stop people getting close to the parliament building.
Its reported at least nine people have been injured while 15 have been arrested.
Thousands had descended on Madrid to protest at how the government is managing the country’s faltering finances. Police had braced themselves for the demo with a force of over a thousand forming a ring round the chamber.
The ugly scenes are, say commentators a stark reminder for the conservative government of the anger on the streets and come just two days before a new round of austerity measures are to be announced.
Despite the running clashes thousands of the protesters refused to move and remained outside the police cordon.