Madrid, Nov 18 (EFE) – Spanish civic organizations organized a massive rally against the amnesty offered by the newly installed government to Catalan independentists in the symbolic Plaza de Cibeles on Saturday, attracting 170,000 people according to the government delegation and up to one million according to the organizers.
Under the slogan “Not in my name: no amnesty and no self-determination,” referring to the possibility of a degree of fiscal autonomy for Catalonia, thousands of people, many with their families and holding Spanish or European Union flags, chanted slogans such as “Pedro Sánchez go to jail” or “He is not a president, he is a criminal.”
For more than two weeks, as Sánchez’s Socialist Party (PSOE) negotiated with other left-wing parties and Catalan independents for their votes, protesters allied with the political right gathered nightly outside the PSOE headquarters.
On Saturday, philosopher and writer Fernando Savater took the stage to cheers and called on citizens to “resist and continue to fight against the amnesty.”
The leader of the center-right Popular Party (PP), Alberto Núñez Feijóo, also spoke, urging Pedro Sánchez not to “gamble with coexistence” or “create tensions in society” and instead “return to common sense, the Constitution, the separation of powers and respect for the independence of the judiciary.”
Santiago Abascal, leader of the far-right party Vox, denounced that the amnesty law is the “completion” of a coup that begun with the president of the government, Pedro Sánchez, making a pact with “all the enemies of Spain.”
The president of the Community of Madrid, Isabel Díaz Ayuso, from the PP, warned of the “irreversible damage” being done in Spain and accused the government of an “intolerable abuse of power.”
After the event, part of the participants went to Ferraz Street, where the federal headquarters of the PSOE are located and where the nightly protests of the last two weeks have taken place.
There they arrived with a 15-meter long flag and chanted slogans such as “Puigdemont in prison” or xenophobic slogans such as “Next time, let Mohamed vote for you.”
Then about four hundred people, according to the government delegation, decided to continue towards the Palacio de la Moncloa, the official residence and workplace of the President of the Government, occupying some lanes of the A-6 highway and forcing a partial blockage of traffic between about three and four thirty in the afternoon local time. The protesters waved Spanish flags, shouted “Sanchez, you are a coward” and, again, racist chants like “Don’t hit me, my name is Mohamed” while walking between the cars on the road until the police cut them off.
Part of the crowd reached the outer wall of the Moncloa Palace without incident, police sources told EFE.EFE