Police clash with protesters during anti-amnesty rally at Socialists headquarters in Madrid

3,800 people protest proposed bill in Spanish capital, and 350 people demonstrate in Barcelona

Protesters in front of the Socialists headquarters in Barcelona on November 6, 2023
Protesters in front of the Socialists headquarters in Barcelona on November 6, 2023 / Mariona Puig
Catalan News

Catalan News | @catalannews | Madrid

November 7, 2023 09:58 AM

November 7, 2023 02:44 PM

Spanish police clashed with protestors on Monday night during a demonstration at the Socialist party headquarters in Madrid against a proposed amnesty law for leaders involved in the 2017 independence referendum. 

Three protestors were arrested for assaulting law enforcement in a demonstration attended by 3,800 people, according to the government delegation.  

Police used tear gas to disperse protesters trying to approach the Socialist Party's headquarters. Several videos posted on social media show the launching of smoke canisters from police lines, as well as attempts by some of the demonstrators to break through the cordon of police officers that shielded the building. 

At the same time, 350 people demonstrated in front of the Catalan Socialists headquarters in Barcelona, according to local Guàrdia Urbana police. The building was shielded by police and the protest ended with no incidents. Among the attendees was Ignacio Garriga, the leader of far-right Vox in Catalonia.  

Socialist leader Pedro Sánchez is in active negotiations with Catalan pro-independence party Junts and needs its approval to pass an amnesty law already signed by the other major pro-independence party, Esquerra Republicana de Catalunya (ERC). 

Acting Prime Minister Pedro Sánchez has condemned the rally on social network X, formerly known as Twitter, where he said: "An attack on supporters of PSOE is an attack on democracy and all those who believe in it. But more than 140 years of history show us that no one will ever be able to overthrow PSOE". 

The Socialist leader in the Catalan parliament, Salvador Illa, said the attack on the Socialists was "unacceptable".  

"The ballot boxes have spoken and democracy has prevailed. The PSC and the PSOE will defend our convictions with greater strength," Illa added on X. 

Conservative People's Party (PP) accused the Spanish government of forcing police officers to treat demonstrators at the PSOE headquarters "as if they were CDRs (Committees for the Defense of the Republic)."  

"Our support for the agents is compatible with our criticism of the heads of the Interior Ministry," they said in a statement.  

The party, led by Alberto Núñez Feijóo, made it clear they did not call for any protests in Ferraz Street in Madrid, where the PSOE headquarters are located. And they emphasized that all PP demonstrations against the amnesty law have been "peaceful." 

Among the demonstrators in Madrid was the leader of Vox, Santiago Abascal, who denounced the "coup d'état" of Pedro Sánchez. He also accused him of "selling the nation" and recalled that Vox is doing everything possible to avoid this in various fronts where they have power or influence on government.