As young people celebrate the Mercè festivities, huge botellónes involving tens of thousands of people descend into anarchy.
Last night (Saturday), a macro-botellón brought together thousands of young people on Bogatell beach in Barcelona. The young people left Plaza España and gathered near the sea. The Mossos d’Esquadra had shielded the entrances to Maria Cristina Avenue and its surroundings to avoid disturbances such as those on Friday night.
Event ended in riots
The event ended with riots after most of the young people had already left. Around six in the morning, some violent groups caused destruction to restaurants in the area, burned motorcycles on Litoral Avenue and threw bottles at the Mossos d’Esquadra.
The clashes took place at the Bogatell breakwater, near Nueva Icaria. The Police finally dispersed the violent ones after 7am. Throughout the night, Guardia Urbana and SEM attended to several wounded in fights and victims of robberies caused by these same groups.
Other parts of Barcelona
Bogatell may have had the largest concentration of people but it was not the only location for botellónes. Paseo Sant Joan and Joan Miró Park were also affected, although the latter was evicted.
These new macro-botellónes follow Friday night’s event which ended with 22 people arrested, 34 injured among the assistants and 5 Mossos agents injured. In the surroundings of Maria Cristina, up to 40,000 people were concentrated and the riots started after four in the morning.
Thousands of people gathered on Avenida Maria Cristina and Plaza España in Barcelona. What followed were numerous acts of vandalism, especially at the Palacio de Congresos de la Fira. There was the burning of vehicles and fights between groups that led to several injuries.
For the second consecutive night, from midnight thousands of young people have concentrated in this part of Barcelona, near Montjuic, and have consumed alcoholic beverages and listened to music through large teams mobile phones installed by some of the participants in the macro-bottle.
Unlike Thursday night, in which some 15,000 young people gathered without incident, this time there were serious altercations and vandalism, including a ‘ assault ‘on the Palacio de Congresos de Fira de Barcelona.
The area of Avenida Maria Cristina and Plaza España dawned with damage to the urban furniture, some burned vehicles and a large amount of broken glass and garbage scattered on public roads.
The Deputy Mayor for Culture of Barcelona, Jordi Martí, praised the “prudent” action and “scrupulous” by the Guàrdia Urbana and the Mossos d’Esquadra, by opting to control and “prevent any violence” instead of dislodging a large concentration that in their opinion could have caused “greater evils”.
Martí took it for granted the gatherings will happen every night during La Mercè. However, he expressed his confidence that the main festival would take place normally.