26 September 2023

SPAIN: Town Hall riot ‘like US Capitol assault’

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In another worrying example of violence against Government officials, police in the Spanish city of Lorca were forced to evict cattle ranchers after they smashed their way into the Town Hall in a scene described as reminiscent of the assault on the United States Capitol.

Several hundred people, including many non-ranchers, burst into the building where the Council was about to go into session.

They climbed stairs to the fourth floor, shouting and threatening Councillors and Public Servants.

It was claimed that some said they were going to burn down the building.

Mayor, Diego Jose Mateos condemned the events, describing them as “an attack on democracy, reminiscent of the assault on the Capitol of January 2021”.

Mr Mateos said the group had “invaded municipal property to try and attack and coerce the free deliberation and free vote of the highest municipal representative body”.

He expressed anger and frustration at the reasons that led the ranchers to participate in the action.

“The Council was due to discuss a modification of a general plan that regulates the distance between farms and population centres — that affects new facilities or extensions of existing ones, but not any of the ranchers’ properties,” Mr Mateos said.

He believed the ranchers had been subjected to a deliberate campaign of misinformation.

The Council session was suspended after police advised that they did not have the numbers to guarantee security.

Lorca, 2 February 2022

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