October 22, 2020

honks and flags against the Government a week before the vote of no confidence


Hundreds of cars converged this afternoon in the center of Madrid to protest the state of alarm and celebrate October 12, Pilar and Hispanidad Day. The convocation of the far-right Vox party – horizontal, self-managed, without a scheduled itinerary or communication to the authorities – was also seconded by numerous residents who approached the Plaza de Colón with a large number of Spanish flags. Among the noise of the horns, the cry that was most identified was that of “Government resign.” The far-right formation thus celebrated its 12-O, a week after the Congress debate your motion of censure against Pedro Sánchez scheduled for September 21 and 22.

Announced for 12.00, the motorized march was in principle a free circuit, but it advanced mainly along Paseo de la Castellana and Calle Serrano, up to Colón. Núñez de Balboa Street, the center of the protest in previous calls, this time served only as an occasional passage for vehicles, which blared their horns mercilessly. On other occasions, it has been pointed out that the vehicles of the right-wing protesters are usually high-end, and this time German luxury brands abounded again, in convertible or sunroof versions. However, very democratic models such as the Seat Ibiza or the Ford Fiesta were also observed.

Marcos Moya (four children) observed the passing of cars on a corner of Serrano Street, with some neighbors, also with carts and youngsters, whom he met on the way to Colón. “We come to celebrate the day of Hispanidad and the Virgin of Pilar and to protest against this shame. What they are doing with us is regrettable ”, he stated, convinced that the call for a state of alarm“ is going to take away our freedom ”and that Spain will end up“ as a communist state, like Venezuela ”. An idea defended this Monday by the president of the Community of Madrid, Isabel Díaz Ayuso, in an article on ABC.

The reference to Venezuela was not in vain in the demonstration, where, although to a much lesser extent, flags of the South American country could be seen, probably raised by people of limited Bolivarian spirit. Wright, a Sudanese man who asked for money with a cap that also wore the Venezuelan colors, commented to the crowd that “Spain is very difficult”, that “there is no work” and that people are sometimes “very crazy.”

Past El Corte Inglés, at the crossroads between Serrano and Ortega y Gasset streets, José Luis, 61, was standing at the end of the pavement, with the helmet of the motorcycle pierced and extending a flag with his arms, painted with the motto “freedom”. “I am sick of our freedoms being cut back. They want to take away the Constitution of 78 and they want to impose a dictatorship. I don’t care about everything, “he said.

A little further down, the leaders of Vox Iván Espinosa de los Monteros and Rocío Monasterio passed through the crowd, insistently approached by supporters who wanted to be photographed with them. “Photos yes, interviews no,” warned a bodyguard when he saw the notebook stick out. This was a little before 1:00 p.m. A few minutes later, also in the same area, the number one of the formation, Santiago Abascal, appeared for a fleeting crowd bath and lightning appearance, accompanied by a portable plastic marquee with the message “Spain to the streets.” “Why are they taking it?” Protested a woman when the man finished and left in a van, decorated with a sticker with the slogan ‘government resignation’ in which the oes of ‘government’ were black ties. “President, President!” The passersby said goodbye.

In two hours between Colón, Serrano and Paseo de la Castellana to Cibeles, to the south, and Rubén Darío, to the north, not a Francoist flag could be seen. Yes, others have appeared lately with the Burgundy cross and the double-headed eagle, which refer to the imperial apogee of Spain, pre-Bourbon. There was some overtly fascist gesture, like a driver who leaned over Castellana with his arm outside the window doing the Roman salute, but they were not abundant. José and Ávaro, two 29-year-old men, from Talavera and Badajoz, respectively, demarcated their presence in Colón from the Vox call. “You don’t have to come because Abascal says so,” said the first, generally annoyed, not only by the state of alarm, with the government action. Also because the official symbols do not equally enthuse all Spaniards.

“Yesterday at [Rafael] Nadal called him a façade on Twitter for crying with the anthem ”, he censored. The Talaverano said he has good memories of José Bono, who was President of Castilla y León and Minister of Defense, for his appreciation for the national flags. “Madrid is the region with the most freedom in all of Spain,” they agreed. Not far from there there was a boy disguised as a character from ‘La casa de papel’, a successful television series about good-hearted robbers, who carried a cardboard denouncement: “We call it dictatorship, or not yet?”

Between the blare of the horns, two ruddy brothers who were trying to get to the park by bicycle were stuck (they were Dutch). “All countries have their national sentiment, which comes from the nineteenth century, and politicians take it to their ground,” said one. “Each one will have their reasons for being here, if football can be celebrated, I don’t know why not on the national holiday”, reflected the other. A little higher up, a mother and daughter shouted from the car, with the windows open: “Government resign! Government resign!”. The circulation of cars, cut off in some accesses to Colón, was reestablished after 2:00 p.m., and the noise of the horns gradually died down.

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