General News

Madrid holds protest after wave of hate crimes

Rachel Badham September 14, 2021

Hundreds of marchers gathered in central Madrid on September 11 to protest the rising number of anti-LGBTQ+ hate crimes in Spain, with attendees being seen holding rainbow flags and banners that said ‘justice’. Speaking to Reuters, protestor Gabriel Escribano said the march was organised to make a statement against the “continuous homophobic attacks and the constant aggressions” that are happening in the region. 

They continued: “We believe we have to say: enough is enough.” Prime minister Pedro Sanchez recently held an urgent meeting of leaders to address the issue, but protestors demanded that the government do more to protect Spain’s LGBTQ+ community. Confirming the rise in hate crimes, a 2020 report by the European Union Agency for Fundamental Rights found 41% of queer Spaniards have experienced harassment in the past year.

Photo: Reuters

An additional 16% of queer people said they avoid holding hands with their partner in public through fear of being assaulted, threatened or harassed. Overall, 23% of LGBTQ+ Spaniards said they were not open about their sexual orientation and/or gender identity in their daily life due to fears of discrimination. This year alone has seen numerous hate crimes, with Spain’s Observatory Against Homophobia issuing a warning over the situation.