SPAIN’S National Police Corps have been ordered to intensify the ‘monitoring of social media’ after a far-right protest movement was sparked last Sunday in Madrid.

Policia Nacional agents have been given specific orders to ‘anticipate mobilisations’ of street protesters in order to protect state of alarm regulations and avoid coronavirus transmissions – report El Confidencial.

It comes after a widely mis-reported story appeared in Spanish media concerning an alleged protest in Madrid’s Barrio Salamanca, on Sunday at 9pm, which far-right supporters believed was shut down for political reasons.

A Twitter page named ‘Movimiento Nuñez de Balboa’ is now calling for nightly 9pm demonstrations, urging people across Spain to take the streets in opposition of Spain’s governing coalition.

Videos of the original ‘cacerolada’, in which residents banged saucepans to chants of ‘freedom’ and ‘the government should resign’, Madrid police again saw street-demonstrations on Monday night, at 9pm, in more areas of the capital.

Videos of the demonstrations show people wearing sanitary masks – Movimiento Nuñez de Balboa urges all attendees to wear masks and keep distance – with Spanish flags on balconies and Policia Nacional presence.

The Twitter page repeatedly reTweets far-right Vox party leader, Santiago Abascal, who has suggested impeachment for Prime Minister Pedro Sanchez and that the police are acting under authoritarian control.

A statement from Movimiento Barrior Salamanca says it is a ‘pacifist movement for the defense of the Spanish Constitution’.

“We support our heoric police and armed forces and we abhor all anti-Spanish interference.”

The group promotes the hashtags #paseamosjuntos and #estegobiernoloparamosunidos.

Screenshot 2020 05 12 At 11 35 40 Pm 1
The Movimiento Nuñez de Balboa promotes the views of Vox leader, Santiago Abascal, who advocates for the resignation – and impeachment – of the government

While El Confidencial suggest police forces are ‘uneasy’ about orders to police social-media born anti-government demonstrations – which are allowed under the Spanish Constitution – a Spanish fact checking site has debunked the story.

Maldita.Es carries a statement from Madrid’s Policia Nacional that 13 people were identified on Sunday at 9pm on Calle Nuñez de Balboa – but not for anti-government protests.

Spain’s main police union, JUPOL, also released a statement saying police were called for a streetparty, which is exactly what they found when they turned up around 8.30pm.

JUPOL maintains no one was seen nor heard protesting against the government. 

Tweets from Spain’s main policing union, saying ‘we are now seeing videos of what really happened on Calle Nuñez de Balboa’ and reiterating that street parties are not permitted under state of alarm rules

Residents on the street told Maldita.Es an old neighbour had been playing music every nigt at 8pm for the nightly sanitary applause. As adults are allowed out now on the streets, and the old neighbour had announced he would not play music anymore evenings, residents organised a ‘collection’ and had a celebration on the street.

Madrid police dispersed the group on account of the music, before at 9pm a separate chant began. video showing Calle Nuñez de Balboa at 8.30pm, where there is no sign of anti-government protest

Since the beginning of the state of alarm, a 9pm ‘cacerolada’ has been encouraged by citizens who feel the government has badly handled the coronavirus crisis.

This cacerolada began at 9pm and, according to Maldita.Es, this was when videos surfaced of the Policia Nacional present and chanting against the government.

The group, as well as many right-wing titles in Spain, are all suggesting the government is using the police to unconstitutionally stop demonstrations – or even any criticism at all.

It comes as Santiago Abascal has called a nationwide car demonstration for May 23 in protest of the government’s handling of the coronavirus.

He plans to shut down cities across Spain, and Vox’s spokesperson said in a video that any refusal to demonstrate on public health grounds would be a sure sign the government was mixing police with politics.

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