MADRID – Widespread protests have erupted across Spain since Pedro Sánchez, the Prime Minister, signed an amnesty agreement with Carles Puigdemont of the Catalan separatist party, Junts. Thousands have participated in demonstrations organised by the right-wing parties Vox and PP.
The ninth day of protests saw crowds outside the socialist party PSOE’s headquarters on Calle Ferraz in Madrid. There were also protests at Puerta del Sol. In Madrid, the police arrested 13 individuals, including 5 minors, and reported several minor injuries.
Police intervention with non-lethal measures
Officers used rubber bullets and tear gas to disperse protesters who started throwing objects. The demonstrations also spread around the Congress of Deputies, attracting around 500 people.
The demonstrations are a response to the PSOE’s amnesty agreement with Catalan independence parties, crucial for Pedro Sánchez’s inauguration as Prime Minister.
Protesters denounce “Sánchez, traitor”
In Madrid’s Puerta del Sol, thousands chanted “Viva Spain!” and displayed Spanish flags, with banners denouncing ‘Sánchez, traitor’. The event was attended by Madrid’s mayor, the president of Madrid, and Ciudadanos’ leader.
Carlos Carrizosa, leader of the conservative Ciudadanos party, supported a peaceful protest in Barcelona. He criticized the PSOE’s agreements and suggested calling for elections if governing is unfeasible.
Andalusian president’s presence in Seville
Juan Manuel Moreno, Andalucian president from the PP, attended a Seville protest organised by his party, which opposes amnesty as a sign of corruption and political impunity. Furthermore, demonstrations also occurred in Valladolid, Zaragoza, Valencia, Toledo, Madrid, Barcelona, Oviedo, Alicante, Valencia, and Málaga.
PP’s “determination and moderation”
Alberto Nuñez Feijoo, PP leader, emphasised on X (former Twitter) a balanced approach in future meetings. A manifesto defending Spanish equality circulated on social media, highlighting the Spanish Constitution’s significance and criticizing the government’s role in the independence movement.
🇪🇸 Hoy, España es un clamor por la igualdad, la dignidad, la justicia, la convivencia y la diversidad.
🔴 No al privilegio. No a la impunidad. No a la amnistía.#EspañaNoSeRinde
— Partido Popular (@ppopular) November 12, 2023
The manifesto calls for unity in defending democracy, the rule of law, and resistance against impunity, emphasising peaceful, lawful resistance.
In light of these events, Pedro Sánchez urged the PP to recognise the election results and the legitimacy of the progressive coalition government.
Call for a general strike
The hashtag #huelgageneral gained traction on Twitter, with Vox’s union Solidaridad urging a strike against the government and its agreements with Catalan and Basque nationalists on November 17. Consequently, Solidaridad protests against amnesty and Catalan debt cancellation, part of the agreement for Sánchez’s investiture, claiming these are funded by employee taxes.
As Solidaridad seeks a protest formula, they have called for a demonstration at the PSOE national headquarters.”