On the fourth night of demonstrations in Spain against the arrest of rapper Pablo Hasél, things got out of control again in several cities. In Barcelona, rioters looted shops and tried to set fire to bank buildings.
Also in Girona, people were targeting banks, among other things. That‘s where windows were thrown in. Cops who intervene were thrown with bottles and stones.
With dozens of equal young rioters penetrated the banks:
“ The age of the people who go out into the street stands out,” says correspondent Rop Zoutberg. “They are roughly between 16 and 25 years old, and come from radical left-wing and anti-fascist movements. They mix in Catalonia, where Pablo Hasél comes from, with separatist captains who have experience with the city guerrilla, as you saw it in the 2017 independence referendum.”
“ These rioters are aiming blazing barricades with trash containers, rental scooters or whatever,” says Zoutberg. “They immediately seek the confrontation with police and ME. Other young people will also go out to the streets out of direct frustration about coronare rules. They have been under the pressure of mandatory indoors for a year, or are limited in their movements by closed cafes and limited meetings. This pent-up disgust for a state that imposes rules and imposes rappers, rightly or not, is now coming out.”
Since Tuesday, demonstrators in Spain have taken to the streets to demonstrate for the release of rapper Pablo Hasél, who has been convicted of the desecration of majesty and the glorification of terrorism in his texts. They speak of a restriction on freedom of expression, a discussion which has now reached Spanish politics.
The demonstrations have resulted in riots every evening, especially in Catalan cities but also in Madrid. At least 80 people have been arrested this week.
According to the newspaper El País, last evening in Barcelona there were about 2000 demonstrators on their feet, with which it was busier than the day before. Part of them became violent.
Last evening, the Spanish Prime Minister Sánchez spoke disapproving remarks about the riots of recent days. “Violence is an attack on democracy,” he said in a speech. Sánchez did promise to extend freedom of expression without explaining it.
“ The imprisonment of Hasél splits the left-wing government coalition of Spain,” says Zoutberg. “On the one hand is Prime Minister Sánchez‘s Social Democratic PSOE. It condemned the protests of radical young people. On the other hand, the most radical flank, that of Podemos, acts.”
In a tweet, one of the leaders of Podemos praised the young people who stand up for the right to freedom of expression. “That sounds beautiful,” says Zoutberg, “but the party is accused of not condemning violent violence at any time.”
The PSOE wants to amend the laws on majesty’s desecration and the glorification of terrorism, thereby raising the threshold for persecution a lot higher. Podemos goes much further. He simply wants all those laws to be deleted.