A 20-STRONG group of teenagers have become unlikely nationwide heroes after organising a clean-up operation in the aftermath of this past weekends demonstrations.
The group, led by 16-year-old Pablo Alcaide, took to the streets of their hometown of Logroño in the historic La Rioja region armed with bags, gloves and cleaning products after violent demonstrations left the town a mess.
Over the weekend, around 150 youths from anti establishment and far-right groups gathered in the Plaza de El Espolon and vandalised shops, burned rubbish containers and threw rocks at police officers.
“I felt very ashamed, because that wasn’t a demonstration, it was just pure vandalism,” said Alcaide in response to the weekends events.
“I made the call on social media to gather my friends to help with the clean-up,” he continued.
“The reply was phenomenal, more than 20 people showed up.”
Alcaide’s mother works for the ayuntamiento as a street sweeper, so the riots of Saturday night hit a personal note, leading Pablo to take action.
News of Alcaide’s efforts quickly spread to the regions leader, Concha Andreu before gaining nationwide notoriety by coming to the attention of Spain’s PM Pedro Sanchez, who praised the group on his Twitter Page.
“Our country’s youth represents generosity, a sense of responsibility, commitment. Values that make us greater as a society. Thank you for your admirable reaction today in La Rioja. Our strength resides in being able to count on one another. Let’s keep fighting the virus with unity,” said Sanchez in his tweet.
The weekend’s riots were in a direct response to the government’s nationwide curfew aimed at stopping the spread of COVID-19.
The news caused widespread anger across the country and led to violent demonstrations in cities such as Madrid, Barcelona, Sevilla and Bilbao.