MWC 2012: There's Not a Riot Goin' On
BARCELONA -- Mobile World Congress 2012 -- Despite what you might read on Twitter, there is not a riot going on here at the entrance to the massive Euro mobile show. Rather, it's part of a larger street protest in central Barcelona.
As best as Light Reading Mobile could ascertain -- since the police and organizers wouldn't let attendees leave by the front gate -- it's a student protest against education cuts in Spain. This fits with a demonstration that your correspondent saw at his metro station this morning and appears to be happening around Barcelona this Wednesday.
Students have been gathering in Plaza Espanya for much of the afternoon and into the evening:
(Click that image for a couple more pics of the alleged action.)
Earlier, protests mostly inconvenienced companies like Acme Packet Inc. (Nasdaq: APKT), which was holding a reception in the courtyard entrance to Fira Barcelona as the entrances got shut down.
As Light Reading Mobile left the conference after 8 p.m., the protests continued out the front of building. Police vans thronged the area and the streets down as far as the Universtat metro station blocks away.
Several rows of whistling protesters were flanked by riot police. Police and organizers closed down the subway stop near the Fira, leading many MWC attendees to walk to the next stop, attempt to flag a cab or just walk back to their hotels.
The protests have continued up the street from Light Reading Mobile's hotel well into the evening. — Dan Jones, Site Editor, Light Reading Mobile