By John Ensor •
Updated: 19 Nov 2023 • 8:34
Credit: Alexandros Michailidis/Shutterstock.com
A Massive protest has shaken Madrid this afternoon as demonstrators have swarmed around Moncloa Palace, causing disruption and blocking the main road into Madrid.
On Saturday, November 18, in Madrid, an estimated 170,000 demonstrators filled Plaza de Cibeles, voicing their staunch opposition to the controversial amnesty measures, as well as other laws, following Pedro Sanchez’s re-election as Prime Minister, writes El Pais.
The protesters converged on Madrid’s Moncloa Palace, the government’s headquarters, and along the way disrupted traffic on the A-6 highway, one of the major highways into the capital.
The protest, sparked by opposition to the Amnesty Law and concessions made by Prime Minister Pedro Sanchez to separatist factions, quickly escalated. Protesters filled the entrance lanes to Madrid on the A-6, causing significant traffic disruptions. Riot police were hastily deployed to manage the situation, as demonstrators moved amongst the stalled vehicles.
Todays protest marks the first significant public outcry since Sanchez’s investiture. It was a spectacle of dissent with banners and chants, driven by right-wing and far-right civic groups. The crowd, waving Spanish and EU flags, echoed sentiments of constitutional loyalty and Spain’s uncertain future.
Key political figures like Alberto Nuñez Feijoo and Santiago Abascal amplified the dissent, criticising Sanchez’s governance approach and urging united action against the amnesty.
The demonstration, larger than previous protests, showcased the People’s Party (PP)’s influence. Prominent leaders, including Madrid’s President Isabel Díaz Ayuso, rallied the crowd with calls to defend democracy.
Ayuso’s words were particularly incendiary: ‘They are making things up, creating two sides… This has to be stopped,’ which resonated strongly with the crowd. Chants during the rally labelled Sanchez a traitor, with some even calling for his imprisonment
From young to elderly, the protesters, some having travelled from afar, shared a common cause. Their placards, contained messages such as ‘Spain is sold for seven votes’ and ‘I’m a cheat and I got the investiture with my face’, were direct jabs at Sanchez. The unity in diversity was noteworthy, and signalled a critical juncture in Spain’s political landscape.
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Originally from Doncaster, Yorkshire, John now lives in Galicia, Northern Spain with his wife Nina.
He is passionate about news, music, cycling and animals.
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