Police and demonstrators have clashed in the Venezuelan capital, Caracas, during a rally in support of a national pay rise.
Police and demonstrators have clashed in the Venezuelan capital, Caracas, during a rally in support of a national pay rise. Police armed with tear gas and shotguns were ordered to break up the demonstration as 150-thousand people attempted to march on the Parliament. Dozens of people including a number of policemen were injured in the clash.
SYNOPSIS: The demonstration was called to demand a doubling of the minimum wage o 3-dollars-50 a day. The protestors were mainly trade unionists and students. They marched through the streets of Caracas in response to a call from the Venezuela Workers' Federation, the country's most powerful trade union organisation. Similar protests were held in other cities as part of a national campaign.
As allowed under Venezuelan law the Worker's Federation ha submitted a pay rise bill to Parliament earlier this month, but it had been rejected. The government have permission for the protest to go ahead provided the marchers stayed away from the Parliament. The trouble came when demonstrators advanced to within two blocs of the outlawed area. Police armed with shotguns and tear gas were ordered in, as buildings were set on fire.
Eyewitnesses said there were many injuries on both sides, with two Socialist Deputies reported to be among those hurt.
The protests continued into the following day and became more violent. Armed groups rapes set up barricades in the poorer neighbourhoods while snipers fired rooftops. One policeman was killed and several wounded. Trade unions said the demonstrations signalled the start of a class struggle ... the poor against the rich.