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to the people.
Ask anyone about it today, however, and you re more likely to hear about a working class neighborhood that made international headlines in January.
We just want to be respected and taken into account, says Ana Moreno, president of the Francisco de Vitoria neighbors association. You can t spend all that money in an area where civic and cultural centers need investment.
Residents say their protests forced the conservative led government to listen Mbt Shoes Buy Uk
poor neighborhood grew to house around a third of the city s 180,000 residents, it remained largely peripheral. Most visitors to the cozy, tourist friendly downtown never heard of it until January, when Gamonal became a Spanish household name after young protesters smashed bank windows and set Skechers Go Walk Memory Foam
Dozens of arrests fueled the demonstrations, which prompted a wave of national solidarity and more protests in Madrid, Barcelona and other cities organized with the help of the Twitter tag GamonalEffect. The pressure led Burgos mayor to suspend the construction project.
The boulevard was the straw that broke the camel s back, says Mila Calvo, an outspoken housewife who heads Las Eras de Gamonal neighbors association. Yes, there was violence, but personally I m more stirred by the sight of some of my neighbors scrounging for food in the trash than by a burning dumpster.
Adding insult to injury, a controversial tender awarded the project s master plan to a businessman connected to the ruling conservative Popular Party who had been convicted for corruption.
Most residents like the system well enough and certainly better than the city s plans. Parking in the proposed new garage would have been affordable only for those able to pay more than $27,000 for a 40 year lease a significant sum for most Spaniards, especially Gamonal residents.
Spaniards still furious as pulse of sluggish economy slowly picks up
The public s response was to take to the streets.
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dumpsters on fire.
That s when Gamonal was rocked by massive, sometimes violent demonstrations against an $11 million municipal development project to convert its main drag into a boulevard with a bicycle lane and underground parking. Two months on, locals say the protest movement provided strong evidence that five years into Spain s economic crisis, society is fragmenting.
Most believe the money would be better spent on social services.
Once a small traditional village on the outskirts of Burgos, Gamonal saw a population boom in the mid 20th century, when people from the countryside flocked to the growing industrial hub.
White bearded Alonso s Vans Brown And Black biography is typical for Gamonal. He arrived as a child from a poor nearby village, made his living carrying out hard manual labor and recently lost his job.
Flanked by tall brick buildings, four lane Calle Vitoria lacks parking spaces because many residents don t own cars. According to an informal free parking strategy, drivers park on the side of the street in two rows. Cars in the outside row blocking the inner one are left unlocked and with their hand brakes off so other drivers can move them to get out.
Decades of harsh factory conditions transformed many of the typically conservative Catholic migrants into class conscious workers.
With unemployment rates still reaching 26 percent and up to 40 percent among young Spaniards and a growing income gap between wealthy elites and a middle class sliding toward poverty even as the economy slowly improves, very little was needed to set tempers flaring.
BURGOS, Spain Until recently, Spaniards associated this chilly capital of the northern Castille region mainly with its magnificent Gothic cathedral and morcilla, a pork blood sausage.
We spent two years saying No to the boulevard in every way, says protest organizer Manolo Alonso. They didn t budge an inch. So what happened was kind of like saying: Hey, listen to us for once, OK?
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