Palma.—In the wake of a wave of protests against police violence being used against the indignados in a demonstration held against the break-up of their encampment in Plaza Espanya in Palma on Monday night, Ramon Socias, the Central Government Delegate in the Balearics said that officers had a right to use force when they were faced with acts of violence.

Socias claimed that the rebels of the so-called “15M” movement protesting against social and democratic injustice had been guilty of low level violence such as throwing stones, blocking traffic and turning waste paper bins and dustbins upside down.

He said that such occasions of political protest were frequently infiltrated by anarchists who took advantage of antagonism between police and demonstrators to use violence.

Socias confirmed that between 15 and 18 demonstrators had been hurt in this latest confrontation and three anti-riot police officers had been savagely attacked sustaining horrific injuries. The Delegate said that it was disappointing that the 15M movement, which had always trumpeted the fact that it was a peaceful action group respectful of public order, knew only too well how to manipulate people who were prepared to use violence. In the view of Socias, all the indignados have done is to give their crusade a bad name.

He pointed out that of the 14 demonstrators who were injured, six lived outside the Balearics and two of them had “no fixed abode.” Socias said from now on, the indignados will need a permit to hold a protest and would need to appoint one of their number as being responsible for the orderly conduct of the rest.

The time, added Socias, when local authorities were prepared to give some leeway to the original idea of peaceful protest, such as the one held recently in front of the Central Government offices in Palma, was now over.

Meanwhile, yesterday evening, the indignados were having another assembly in Plaza Espanya and Socias confirmed that the police would be on hand to avoid a repetition of violence of the previous day.

Voices of reason in the 15M movement acknowledged yesterday the importance of distancing themselves from infiltrators.