Fascist gathering in Madrid to honor leader’s death anniversary

Participants sing Franco dictatorship anthems and give nazi salutes

Fascist demonstration in Madrid on Friday with people giving Nazi salutes
Fascist demonstration in Madrid on Friday with people giving Nazi salutes / ACN

ACN | Barcelona

November 19, 2017 12:34 PM

Nazi salutes, Franco dictatorship anthems, fascist flags and signs… All this was seen in a demonstration in Madrid on Friday in which hundreds of people honored José Antonio Primo de Rivera, a fascist leader of the 1930s, in the 81th anniversary of his death. The rally was called by Falange Española, the only party which was legal for almost four decades in Spain, during the Dictator Francisco Franco regime. The party was led by Franco himself during his time in power. Falange is still legal and runs in most elections.

The Falangist gathering included a political event in which Primo de Rivera was honored. Besides, attendees also chanted ‘Arriba España’, (equivalent to ‘Long live to Spain’), which was commonly used by Spain’s Franco authorities. At the end of the event, the demonstrators gave the Nazi salute and sang ‘Cara al Sol’, the Falange Española anthem, which became one of the iconic songs of the dictatorship. Students were obliged to sing it at school, as well as cinema-goers before every film started.

After the political event, the attendees started a rally in some Madrid center streets, bearing Falange flags, but also the Spanish flag during the Franco regime and other fascist banners and symbols. The Spanish police monitored the event but it let it go ahead. On Saturday, Falange held another event to honor Primo de Rivera in Valle de los Caídos (Valley of the Fallen), the place build during the dictatorship to honor and bury both Primo de Rivera and Franco. It is still standing and both are still buried there. 

On Saturday hundreds of people also took to the streets in Barcelona. But the march was for the opposite purpose: protesting against the impunity of recent far-right aggressions against residents, police, and journalists in Catalonia and Valencia. Under the slogan “United Against Fascism and Racism,” protesters marched down one of Barcelona’s main roads, Via Augusta, to the top end of the major shopping boulevard, the Passeig de Gracia, which has been a focal point for many recent pro-independence demonstrations.