Tuesday, 4 October 2016

Recent Marches Show How Much Spanish Love to Protest

Recent Marches Show How Much Spanish Love to Protest

Even though the tourism industry is booming, the economy is recovering, and the politicians can’t agree on anything, there are still problems the Spanish wish to air. The two main issues are Catalonia’s bid for independence and bullfighting.
Spanish citizens love to protest and come out in large numbers

It’s estimated that some 540,000 people attended a rally held in Barcelona on Sunday. The rally was held to support the creation of a legally binding independence referendum. The leader of the separatists Carles Puigdemont has set a target of 2017 as the deadline for when Catalans should be given the vote on if they want to be independent from Spain.

Madrid has always stopped these independence efforts and will likely do so this time around. Even though it looks like Catalonia will never win this battle it is never enough to stop them from fighting it. The Catalan National Day is regularly used as a means to drum up more support for the independence bid. There was also a non-legally binding vote held back in 2014 that saw 1.6 million Catalonians say they favoured a split from Spain. This should be all the proof that is needed to secure a vote on the issue.

There is just something about the psyche of the Spanish and Catalan people that sees opposing injustice as a virtue. As such the Spaniards are often marching or protesting for a good portion of the year.

There was another protest held in the capital of Madrid about something that is close to the heart of millions around the world as well as the Spanish. That is the issue of bullfighting. There are many supporters of bullfighting but it looks like the bloodsport has no place in the more modern and liberal Spain, never mind in society as a whole.

Thousands of people marched through Spain declaring that if bullfighting was a representation of Spain they must not be Spanish. This is a valid and interesting interpretation of the history of Spain. Indeed if the Spanish no longer identify with something that has long been used to represent Spain and her people then is it still valid in Spanish society?

It looks like the protests are having an effect and the popularity of bullfighting is on the way down. “Only” 1,736 bullfights happened across Spain which is down 132 from 2014. Whether it is traditional or not it looks like Spaniards are turning their back on the sport but some would argue that apathy is perhaps more dangerous than opposition.

Whether this apathy for bullfighting infects the fight for independence for Catalan remains to be seen, but it doesn’t seem likely given the passion of the Catalan people.