Two columns of miners met up in a Madrid suburb on Tuesday evening and marched to the Puerta del Sol, the Spanish capital's most emblematic square, where young demonstrators opposed to austerity cuts prompted by the financial crisis in Spain and Europe camped out last year in defiance of a government ban.
The miners, wearing hard hats with lights turned on, were joined by thousands of sympathisers. Some lit flares above highway overpasses and erected banners comparing the miners' plight to that of Spain's increasingly pressured working class – hit by higher taxes, new regulations making it cheaper to fire workers and funding cuts for education and national healthcare.
One group of about 160 miners walked all the way from the northern Asturias and Leon regions, 250 miles from Madrid, and about 40 made an almost equally long trek from the north-east Aragon region.
A much larger rally of miners and their supporters travelling to Madrid aboard hundreds of chartered buses is scheduled to arrive on Wednesday.
The Great Unrest Group 2012 in Wales sends solidarity greetings to Spanish Miners and remembers the solidarity of Spanish Miners with the Miners of Wales in the British Isles during the Miners Strike of 1984-5 - la solidaridad por siempre