In Madrid, a protest is underway from police officers. They demonstrate against the intention to revert various legal provisions from the “gag act” of 2015.
The gag act was introduced by the conservative Partido Popular, who was in power at the time. The Spanish government is now led by the Social Democratic PSOE.
Under the gag act, much stricter rules were introduced for protesters, with fines of tens of thousands of euros for insulting or filming agents without permission. Demonstration without permission was also punished by sky-high fines.
According to the Spanish government, the law was supposed to promote democratic rights and freedoms, but the opposition and international organizations condemned the law.
The policemen find that their work will be made much more difficult if the law will be reversed later. Demonstrations no longer need to be registered and agents can be filmed during their work. The statements made by police officers are also no longer automatically classified as true.
Police forces and political parties
It is a special demonstration, says correspondent Rop Zoutberg: “It is the first time that the national police and the autonomous Basque and Catalan police are demonstrating together. The Guardia Civil is also running along.” The Guardia Civil is similar to the military police.
In addition to police officers, politicians from the Partido Popular and from the radical-right party Vox also walk along. The latter creates inconvenience, says Zoutberg: “Police unions dont want them to cope with their demands.”