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Protest Snarls Main Exit at MWC

Thu, 03/01/2012 - 6:56am
Monica Alleven

BARCELONA—Students protesting education spending cuts took to the streets, holding up traffic for conventioneers trying to get to and from Mobile World Congress (MWC) late Wednesday.

Authorities shut down the main entrance and exit as thousands of attendees were trying to leave, forcing them to find alternative exits. Police began erecting barriers at about 4 p.m., before the protesters arrived.

Police in SpainThe Associated Press cited reports of violence and some fires in garbage cans elsewhere in the city.

Protests took place in Madrid and Valencia as well. Multiple reports said young adults are angry with Spanish Prime Minister Mariano Rajoy for enacting widespread cuts to prevent a meltdown like those in Greece, Ireland and Portugal. Spain's unemployment rate for people ages 16-24 is at nearly 50 percent, the AP reports.

Convention organizers at the GSMA earlier in the week said it was their understanding the student protests would take place away from the convention area. Over the weekend, a threatened transit strike was avoided, which would have shut down the bus and Metro system.

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