I’m back from another week of business travel; I was pretty much cut off from civilization except for the USA Today delivered to my hotel room each morning. The main news story, of course, was the Madrid bombings. Today, the Spanish people turned out in a massive demonstration against terrorism:
Millions of Spaniards poured into the streets Friday, chanting “Cowards!” and “Assassins!” in a protest of the bombings that killed 199 people. Many of the estimated 2.3 million marchers in Madrid huddled against a steady rain in a bobbing mass of umbrellas that clogged the capital’s squares and the area around the Atocha station, where two of the four trains blew up during Thursday morning’s rush hour. In a show of national unity, massive crowds also gathered in Barcelona, Seville, Valencia and even in Spain’s Canary Islands off Western Africa. Nationwide, more than 11 million marched, state TV said.
Before the rallies began, offices, shops and cafes across Spain emptied at noon as people stood in silence on the streets to honor the dead. Authorities had requested a minute’s silence but many people in Madrid stood in drizzly, chilly weather for about 10 minutes.
The silence ended when the people broke into spontaneous applause in a traditional sign of respect and solidarity.
Aznar stood outside the presidential palace with senior officials. The silence there was broken when someone angrily shouted: “Send the terrorists to the firing squad!”
Amen. Here is a photo of hundreds of thousands of anti-terror demonstrators in Madrid: