Thousands of people marched in several cities in southern Spain last night to protest the rise of Vox, a far-right party that has burst onto the political scene after an unexpectedly strong performance at the Andalusian regional election on Sunday.
Polls had only predicted five seats for the party, which instead attracted nearly 11% of the vote and earned 12 seats.
Carlos Caballero, law student
Anti-Vox demonstrations took place in provincial capitals across Andalusia, including Granada, Málaga and Seville, where marchers cried out slogans such as: “We are not afraid.”
The anti-immigration party, which wants to recentralize power, lower taxes and toughen up the criminal code, could be the kingmaker in Andalusian politics as parties scramble to form a coalition in the wake of an inconclusive election that was technically won by the Socialist Party (PSOE) with 33 seats.
But the incumbent Socialists, who have governed Spain’s most populous region for 36 straight years, could be ousted if the conservative Popular Party (PP), the center-right Ciudadanos and Vox put together their collective 59 deputies in the 109-seat house.
In Granada, around 5,000 people joined an anti-fascist protest in front of City Hall, according to local police estimates. Demonstrators walked down Camino de Ronda, one of the city’s main arteries, to Vox headquarters. The protest was called spontaneously on social media, and downtown traffic was affected as thousands of youths blocked lanes, leading to verbal confrontations with motorists.
In Seville, hundreds of people marched from Plaza de la Encarnación to the regional assembly and City Hall. Waving Andalusian and Republican flags, the protesters blocked traffic while chanting: “It’s fascism, not democracy,” and: “Refugees welcome.”
“Vox’s presence [in the Andalusian parliament] is shameful,” said Carlos Caballero, a law student at the march. “There are people who think like them, and now they’ve seen that their vote could be useful,” added Julia García, another protester.
In Málaga, several hundred youths protested in the Plaza de la Constitución, where they held signs against Vox and in favor of feminism.
English version by Susana Urra.