Category: World / November 14, 2012 7:39 PM EST
An anti-austerity protest outside the Portuguese parliament building on Wednesday (November 14) ended violently as police charged at demonstrators after they hurled cobblestones and Molotov cocktails at them for over an hour.
Thousands of demonstrators had gathered at the foot of the parliament earlier in the day for a peaceful protest in the capital, where Portuguese union CGTP had called a march to mark the second general strike in a year.
But skirmishes soon erupted when protesters kicked down barriers set up to prevent their access. The rally grew increasingly violent with protesters hurling stones and burning bottles at the police.
Police with dogs could be seen striking demonstrators with their batons and pushing large groups back along the streets. Several people were arrested on the scene.
Locals struggled to escape the unfolding clashes, with one man running past blazing trashcans as he clutched to a child in his arms.
The demonstration that ended the General Strike day was the first one with such violent clashes.
Portuguese workers intended to stage a peaceful walkout to protest against austerity measure implemented after Portugal asked for a 78 billion euro bailout last year.