Protest called to condemn homophobic attacks in Barcelona
Two gay couples were assaulted by a group of men on the beach and two further aggressions were reported over the weekend
A string of homophobic attacks in Barcelona over the last weekend led to public outcry and shows of support from institutions and society, with a protest called for next Saturday in front of the LGTBI center in the city.
The most brutal of the three agressions reported took place on Saturday on the city’s Somorrostro beach, where two gay couples were assaulted by a group of men who kicked and punched them, leaving one severly injured.
The city council admitted it had not witnessed an attack "of such violence" in a long time and expressed its "concerns," but at the same time reassured the members of the LGBT community that the incident was "sporadic."
"Violence is structural, so we need instruments and tools that allow us to fight against hatred of different groups"
Eugeni Rodríguez · Observatory Against Homophobia president
The Observatory Against Homophobia, a non-profit organization monitoring such incidents and providing support to the victims, has documented 76 different aggressions so far this year.
"Violence is structural, so we need instruments and tools that allow us to fight against hatred of different groups, and our society can’t afford to normalize that," said the president of the institution, Eugeni Rodríguez.
The Catalan minister for Equality and Feminism, Tània Verge, condemned the string of attacks, expressed her support for the victims, and stressed that the fight against such aggressions would be one of her main priorities at the helm of the newly created ministry.
‘The far-right galvanizes these attacks’
Parties in the Catalan parliament joined the public outcry, saying that "such incidents have no place in our society," but the statement fell short of the support needed to be unanimous after far-right Vox decided not to sign it.
Juan Garriga, a spokesperson for the party, which first entered parliament in the past February election, said the party did indeed condemn the attacks, but alleged "ideological" differences with the solutions proposed by the joint text.
A member of the far-left CUP party, Xavier Pellicer, linked Vox’s presence in the parliament with the attacks. "The arrival of a far-right party in the Catalan parliament catalyzes and galvanizes these attacks," he said.