Pamplona bans sale of sexist souvenirs at 2018 Running of the Bulls

T-shirts and buttons that display crude slogans could be confiscated without refunds, city authorities warn

The wine flows at the start of Sanfermines 2016.
The wine flows at the start of Sanfermines 2016.Eloy Alonso (Reuters)

From t-shirts to buttons, the northern Spanish city of Pamplona has prohibited the sale of material carrying sexually offensive messages at the upcoming Running of the Bulls. Vendors of such items will be subject to the confiscation of their goods without a refund.

The initiative is part of a movement toward a “Pamplona free of sexual assault,” made public by Mayor Joseba Asirón last Thursday ahead of the world-famous fiestas, which officially begin on Friday. Two years ago, the city was rocked by a case known as La Manada, involving five men who sexually assaulted a young woman during the July celebration. The men were convicted of sexual abuse but cleared of rape, and recently released on bail pending a review of their appeals. The case triggered nationwide protests and calls to overhaul criminal legislation.

The measures are intended to “place the responsibility on both men and women to hold a festival that is free of sexual assault”

The measures introduced in Pamplona this year are intended to “place the responsibility on both men and women to hold a festival that is free of sexual assault.” A week before the start of Sanfermines 2018, the mayor appealed to the civic sense of the city and requested collaboration from its citizens so that the festivities can go ahead without any trouble. Asirón called on residents and visitors to be ready to “help and support any woman who is being victimized and to isolate the aggressors.”

City officials said in a press statement that they want to “stamp out this type of conduct in order to make Sanfermines a festival where women can enjoy themselves with freedom, safety and equality.”

Last year there were two reports of sexual assault and 12 of sexual abuse over the course of the week-long fiestas.

English version by John Clarke.

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