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On March 29th, Madrid took part in a nation wide strike to protest the new labour reform laws that are being implemented by the government. The downtown core was transformed into a living wave of Spaniards, marching their detoured path through the narrow streets from Banco de Espana to Puerta del Sol. Sporadically, pockets within the immense group would stop and demand the immediate closure of any stores that were unwilling to join in on the strike. These shops would either give in and close, or see their doors turned into police barricades.
As I spent the better part of my day photographing from within the crowd, the optimistic side of me would want nothing more than to have the voices of these people heard. Although, as a journalist -and a realist-, I am able to see that even though these laws will inevitably push the already alarming unemployment rate that much higher, they will also become a Spanish reality. This will either save Spain from bankruptcy, or spiral it’s frustrated people into a string of riots -maybe even both-. We all know that it is darkest before the dawn, so let us hope -for Spain and Europe’s sake-, that the dawn arrives before it is too late.