Spain’s Guardia Civil protest seeking better work rights

A boy carries a Spanish flag in front of Civil guards and family members during a protest march in Madrid, Spain, Saturday, Nov. 14, 2015. The Civil Guard, a national military police force are protesting the lack of workers rights and are demanding the same labour conditions as the National Police force. Placards read 'Justice'. (AP Photo/Paul White)

MADRID (AP) — Around 10,000 personnel belonging to the Guardia Civil (Civil Guard) branch of Spain’s police forces have marched in Madrid demanding better employment conditions and workers’ rights.

The Guardia Civil, which traces its history back to 1844 and is best known for wearing shiny patent leather three-cornered hats and olive-green uniforms, has traditionally patrolled rural areas while the National Police operates in urban environments.

The Unified Association of Guardia Civil, who organized Saturday’s protest, is demanding its members get the same labor rights as their counterparts in the national police and other Spanish security forces.

Some of the Guardias carried Spanish flags with French national colors and an image of a black armband superimposed to show sympathy and solidarity with those killed and injured in the Paris attacks.

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