WATCH: DOZENS of students rally in central Madrid despite the government ban on M8 demonstrations
The Union of Students and Freedoms and Combatives gathered dozens of students together at the Puerto del Sol in central Madrid at noon on Monday, March 8, despite a government ban on demonstrations for International Women’s Day. Participants in the rally were photographed carrying placards reading ‘March 8 without gags’ and ‘this government is not feminist’.
During the gathering, the union’s general secretary, Coral Latorre, told Europa Press that they felt it was “important” to take to the streets on this significant day “even if it was only symbolic”.
“They are not going to keep us at home,” she added. “M8 is not a crime.”
The Ministry of Health announced last week that all demonstrations for International Women’s Day would be prohibited on March 7 and 8 in Madrid, owing to the fact that the region still has one of the highest Covid infections rates in the entire country. The decision was appealed by unions and feminist groups, but the Supreme Court upheld the ban when it ruled on Sunday.
“We could easily have more than 60,000 people between March 7 and 8 moving through the different streets of Madrid,” said the government delegate José Manuel Franco at a press conference.
He said that after “analysing in detail” each of the petitions presented by organisers “and taking into account the possible confluences of different mass gatherings in various areas of Madrid, a firm decision has been made to prohibit, for reasons of public health, all the demonstrations and gatherings”.
However, Ms Latorre dismissed the government’s decision to ban the commemorations as purely “political” and called for the resignation of the government delegate in Madrid. Meanwhile, more than a dozen students sat in the middle of the Plaza chanting:
“The struggle is the only way. Enough of the repression of women. We want each other alive, free and fighting.”
— Benjamin Peres (@BenjaminPeres10) March 8, 2021
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