Violent demonstrations have erupted in multiple cities across Spain to object against the new coronavirus curfew. The protests were organized through social media and were unauthorized. Spain was one of the first countries in Europe to reach a million cases last week and the curfew was set after there was a jump in coronavirus cases to 25,000 cases in one day.
32 people were arrested in Madrid on Saturday after an unauthorized protest took place on Gran Via. They face charges related to public order and property damages. Demonstrators were chanting slogans such as “Madrid says enough” and “Madrid is being ruined”. They set garbage cans on fire and damaged storefronts. This lasted around 20 minutes. According to the central government, three national police officers were slightly injured after protesters threw objects at police vehicles.
Similar protests took place in multiple cities such as Bilbao, Barcelona, Màlaga, Burgos, and Seville. Multiple arrests were made and more police officers were injured.
Spanish PM Pedro Sanchez asked for an end to the “violent and irrational behaviour” against the government’s decision to declare a state of emergency for six months, until May 9 2021. During a televised address, Sanchez claimed that “not the government of Spain nor its regional governments, want to impose a single restriction that isn’t necessary to flatten the curve and protect public health”.
Similar restrictions or lockdowns have been imposed all over Europe, including countries such as Germany, Netherlands and France.
Footage of the protests:
Cover photograph: Rodrigo Jimenez/EPA