Hundreds of people fill the streets of Gràcia to condemn rape at Festa Major

Protests on Tuesday evening were led after a girl was raped in the early hours of Sunday

People flood the streets of Gràcia with anti-gender violence slogans (Laura Fíguls)
People flood the streets of Gràcia with anti-gender violence slogans (Laura Fíguls) / Oliver Little

Oliver Little | Barcelona

August 21, 2019 11:41 AM

Amidst the festivities of the Festa Major de Gràcia, feminist organizations and institutions have taken a stand against gender-based violence after a girl was raped on Sunday morning.

Hundreds of people filled the streets of Gràcia on Tuesday in protest against these events. The Catalan Police Force’s investigation is ongoing.

The protests started in the Plaça de la Vila with a reading of a manifesto that condemned rape. After marching down the Gran de Gràcia street, the protestors continued through the streets of Vallcarca, where the rape is believed to have been commited, holding the slogan “No rape without response.” 

In the plaça de Lesseps, another manifesto was read to condemn gender-based violence and address the revictimization women suffer when they have to report it. The protests culminated with the symbolic cremation of sentences expressing sexist violence.

A worker from the feminist organizations involved in the protest stressed that “in Gràcia, we do not tolerate sexist violence nor any form of behaviour that limits a woman’s ability to enjoy the party freely, nor do we allow this behaviour to be excused under the premise of alcohol and partying. Nothing excuses rape.”

The protests were assembled by feminist organizations at the Festa Major. They reminded everyone that they are “responsible for reporting any harassment”, warning that “if you are silent, you are an accomplice.” 

They affirmed that “we are demonstrating our condemnation and our anger. We are voicing ourselves and confronting sexistviolence”, and finished by saying: “You are not alone. Together we are stronger”. 

In a public address, president of the Festa Major de Gràcia Foundation Carla Carbonell has denounced any form of masculine violence, and reminded everyone of the important values of comfort at the Festa Major. “All of our streets and organizations are fighting against any form of aggression in Barcelona.”

Laia Bonet, who is standing in as mayor while Ada Colau is on holiday leave, has expressed her “absolute and total rejection” of any form of gender violence. She also noted the importance of council support in the struggle against this violence.

This is the latest in a string of rape and gang rape cases to spark public protest in recent years, starting with the so-called ‘wolf-pack’ case during the running-of-the-bulls festival in Pamplona, Spain.