Puerta del Sol in Madrid. Ten in the morning. The first Jusapol flags begin to be distributed at the corner of Espoz and Mina streets an hour and a half before the demonstration. The queue for Loterías Aguilar and the guided groups of bicycle tourists are still more numerous than the police and civil guards. Several men sell trumpets and flags of Spain to the premonitory shout of “trumpets, flags” and an organizer of the march runs up when a Francoist banner is placed on his back. The flag disappears. While all this heats up at kilometer zero in the Community of Madrid and Isabel Díaz Ayuso supports the concentration, Pablo Casado is in León.
The popular leader closes at that time the meeting of provincial and island presidents of the PP. He criticizes that Netflix is going to have to translate content into Catalan due to the Government Budget agreement and that the Supreme Court has had to force the Generalitat of Catalonia to give at least 25% of education in Spanish. “I thank you for allowing my speech to advance, I also want to be present in Madrid,” he said after this week it had been stressed that Ayuso would be present and he would not, in the midst of the party’s internal war.
Casado had advanced his speech and took to the road while the right wing did everything possible to take a mass bath in the central district of the capital. The first was Inés Arrimadas, leader of Ciudadanos, accompanied by deputy Edmundo Bal. His intervention against the reform of the Citizen Security Law brought together many chambers but few enthusiasts. And while the horn of the truck baptized as ‘Black Vulture’ leaves half the Carrera de San Jerónimo speechless, the Vox entourage appears.
While Casado set course for Madrid on a sprint of more than 300 kilometers, Santiago Abascal and his family acted as unofficial godfathers and godmothers of the demonstration. Deputy Javier Ortega Smith spoke first about “guerrillas, riots, riots” and “street terrorism.” He affirmed that “they are a rabble and you can see their feather duster from a distance.” As he finished the sentence, the leader of the extreme right appeared amid shouts of “President, president!”
Casado’s absence was made up with the party’s national spokesperson and with the president of the Community of Madrid. Between negative evaluations of the future Citizen Security Law and criticism of the Executive, both answered questions about the non-appearance of their leader. José Luis Martínez Almeida alleged that Casado had an “appointment in León” and Isabel Díaz Ayuso explained that he was not going to coincide with him because, as regional president, he understood that he should not participate in the march even if he supported his motives. The column of police and civil guards already gathered 20,000 people, according to the Government Delegation, and more than 100,000, according to the organizers.
A journey of less than a kilometer to Colón began. Meanwhile, the Vox delegation was joined by members: Santiago Abascal, Javier Ortega Smith, Macarena Olona, Iván Espinosa de los Monteros and Rocío Monasterio. Flags also from the party’s union, ‘Solidaridad’, and some well-known far-right agitators. Meanwhile, Casado’s presence remained unclear. At least if he was going to be in time before the march was called off.
From “president” to “traitor”
The popular leader arrived, but not in time to support the protest before it was over. Casado landed at the door of the Ministry of the Interior on the Paseo de la Castellana in Madrid when the spokesmen for the convocation were giving their speeches and while the loudspeakers were broadcasting a version of “Pa Madrid”, from El Barrio, adapted for the cause. The cries of “this is our Police” and the throwing of symbolic and inoffensive rubber balls to the public alternated with cries of “Marlaska resignation” and even “Marlaska to prison” during a minute of silence, previously, by the fallen defending the country in the Plaza de la Lealtad.
The leader of the PP harshly charges against the reform planned by the Government, warning of the number of agents attacked daily in our country, of the destabilizing factor of the members of the Executive and of the deputies that Unidos Podemos has lost due to convictions for attacking, precisely , to national police. In the background, the volume of the screams rises, some calling for the presidency of the Government for Casado, and others calling him a “traitor.” “Viva Vox!” A protester yelled as he took a selfie with another man. “Let Ayuso be president,” shouted a woman already entering the guts of the conservative formation. “You seem to be on the right, but you vote like those on the left,” shouted another protester.
The headline of the Vox leaders had faded as they passed by the Neptune fountain, although some flags with the party’s logo still waved here and there. Pablo Casado, turned into the focus of shouts and applause in a rally against the Government and the Minister of the Interior and all their partners, ended a hard morning full of kilometers with a shout that reached him at the entrance to Genova Street shortly before get into the van: “Failure!” a woman shouted before the applause of her supporters enveloped the leader in the direction of headquarters.