For over a month now, the miners based in the northern Spanish province of Asturias have been on a strike that has frequently erupted into armed fighting between themselves and police. The reason behind the strike? The new conservative Spanish government has gradually been trying to policy their livelihoods out of existence. They’ve slashed mining subsidies knowing that without that funding, the mines will have to close. They also reneged on a deal made to help out the miners whose jobs they’re taking away. Since the men who work in the mines know no other way of supporting their families, they’ve not taken this well.
So it was that I came to spend Wednesday, the 4th of July scurrying around as the few hundred miners left at the Soton mine in Asturias (in the 90s, a few thousand worked these pits). They used burning barricades and homemade rocket launchers to fend off the riot police sent up into the mountains to deal with this hardcore of renegade pitmen.