Demonstrators convened in Madrid and other Spanish cities today to protest the government’s handling of the coronavirus crisis. The protestors are demanding the resignation of Spanish Prime Minister Pedro Sánchez, as they claim the country has turned into a dictatorship. The police response to the protests has been steadily growing in an attempt to gain control of the situation.
The protestors object to the government’s growing powers to tackle the coronavirus, which they claim has resulted in a “government by decree”.
At 9pm each night demonstrators have taken to banning pots and pans to signal their disapproval of the lockdown and the Socialist-led government that imposed it.
The protests have also spilt out into the streets of many Spanish cities, including Madrid, Galapagar and Valencia.
The police have steadily increased their presence to prevent confrontations and stop the protestors from blocking streets – as they did in the first few days of the demonstrations.
Political rows have also erupted between the government and the far-right party Vox.
The leader of Vox, Santiago Abascal, has backed the protestors and has urged the government to listen to their demands.
He described the government’s handling of the situation as a “dictatorship camouflaged by the state of alarm”.
Protestors have started to target the homes of government ministers, such as Pablo Iglesias, the government’s second Vice President, and the country’s transport minister José Luis Ábalos.
On Tuesday police prevented some 200 demonstrators from closing the street, and ensured protestors adhered to social distancing rules.
Protestors have began to dwindle in other areas, such as Montecarmelo, Sanchinarro, Pinar de Chamartín, Aravaca and in municipalities on the outskirts such as Arganda, Majadahonda, Las Rozas or Pozuelo.
In Valencia, 1000 people gathered yesterday at the Alameda de Valencia promenade, chanting cries of protest against the government and demanding the resignation of the president.
There was a large police presence in the street to make sure attended complied with social distancing measures.
Additional reporting by Maria Ortega