On May 23, Saturday, antifascist groups in Castello in Spain organized a unique protest action in the city against an anti-lockdown rally organized by the far-right Vox party and other groups. Antifa activists and members of leftist movements, including the Communist Party of the Peoples of Spain (PCPE), formed a disinfection brigade in Castello that marched in the city against the Vox rally and also carried out a massive disinfection drive in the city.
According to reports, far-right groups including the Vox and Francoists organized nationalist, patriotic rallies under the slogan #CaravanaPorLaLibertad (Caravan for Freedom) in cities across Spain on May 23 demanding immediate lifting of the lockdown. Vox has alleged that the government of Spain has been using the national emergency to promote a socio-communist agenda.
Their actions though, have been met with resistance. Antifa groups and the PCPE, among others have been persistent in protesting against rightwing demonstrations. There have also been accusations that police have selectively attacked Antifa groups without taking any actions against the far-right provocations.
Communist Party of the Workers of Spain (PCTE) stated that “#CaravanaPorLaLibertad, is nothing more than the caravan of the reactionaries, the old Spain of privileges going out to the street with its classical hatred. This is not a patriots’ manifestation, but parasites, those who fill with mouth with the homeland to sell it.”
On Sunday, Astor Garcia from PCTE told Peoples Dispatch that “the rallies organized by Vox yesterday are the expression of the fear of some sectors of the bourgeois class in face of the new capitalist crisis unveiled by the COVID-19 pandemic. They have a very clear nationalist and class character and express a radicalization of certain bourgeois sectors who want to increase the exploitation of the working class as a solution for their survival. Politically, they pretend to erode the social-democratic coalition in Government presenting them as left-wing radicals, even as “communists”, although the main measures of the government have been directed to protect the interests of the big capitalists”.
Vox is a far-right political party that is on the rise in Spain, founded in December 2013. It demands more centralized governance and opposes the current federalist structure which provides autonomy to Catalonia and Basque Country. Vox is against abortion and same-sex marriage endorses anti-Islam and anti-immigration discourses, as well as criticisms of multiculturalism.