Spain has been gripped violence, with anti-lockdown protesters clashing with police in multiple cities, including Madrid and Barcelona, over the state and regional governments’ move to toughen Covid-19 restrictions.
Protesters torched garbage containers and erected makeshift barricades on Gran Vía, and reportedly smashed several store fronts elsewhere in central Madrid on Saturday night.
— Insider Paper (@TheInsiderPaper) November 1, 2020
When police moved in to clear the unruly gathering, they were pelted with stones and flares, and reportedly fired blank bullets forcing the protesters to disperse into nearby streets.
Cargas policiales para dispersar a los vándalos. pic.twitter.com/WKsyke3PkS
— Antidisturbios 🇪🇸 (@FuerzasDelOrden) November 1, 2020
— Anthony Texeira (@Texeiraanthony) November 1, 2020
Meanwhile in Barcelona, police officers were once pelted with stones and other projectiles, as they tried to disperse a smaller-scale anti-lockdown protests for the second consecutive night.
Aaand the second day of rioting and police activity in Barcelona. Not as bad as yesterday. pic.twitter.com/MhxRQy9v3C
— ChlamydiaRises, MBE (@ChlamydiaRises) October 31, 2020
The regional government of Catalonia approved a new package of measures this week, including the perimeter confinement of each municipality, limiting people to their own district on weekends.
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Clashes also took place in the Spanish city of Logrono, where protesters burned trash containers, smashed windows and looted several shops.
Definitivamente Logroño está en guerra. Tengo miedo real pic.twitter.com/8aMEPxcDU7
— Maikel Sáenz (@SaenzMaikel) October 31, 2020
Heated protests were also reported in Granada, Malaga and Bilbao.
— vhsrnews (@VictorSanchez_R) November 1, 2020
Esto está pasando en Huelin, Málaga pic.twitter.com/gA6sxAPYuR
— Añañin (@LaLeyEsp) October 31, 2020
Spain’s prime minister Pedro Sanchez urged Spaniards, in a Saturday night tweet, to show patience and demonstrate “responsibility, unity and sacrifice” to defeat the global pandemic, while condemning the “violent and irrational behavior” by a “small minority” of the population.
Disturbios y enfrentamientos entre la Policía Nacional y manifestantes en la Gran Vía de Madrid, a pocos minutos de entrar en vigor el toque de queda impuesto por el gobierno de España. Decenas de personas protestan contra las restricciones #31oct pic.twitter.com/Aqa8ed6Rdm
— Sergio Novelli (@SergioNovelli) November 1, 2020
Spain’s parliament approved a six-month extension to the national state of emergency last week , granting regional authorities more power to tackle the country’s second wave of Covid-19. This is Spain’s third extension to the state of emergency during the pandemic and will be in force until May 9, but with the option for it to be lifted on March 9.
Under this new extension, regional governments have the power to control freedom of movement and curfew times without having to go through complicated fortnightly procedures in parliament. Since then, many regions have toughened their coronavirus measures, with nighttime curfews, lockdowns and travel restrictions.
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