27 Oct, 2023 @ 12:39
1 min read

Watch: Police launch investigation in Spain’s Madrid after motorist runs down cyclists during pro-Palestine protest

Motorist runs over pro-Palestine protestors

A MAN handed himself in to police in Madrid on Thursday evening after he ran over a number of cyclists who were taking part in a demonstration through the streets of the Spanish capital in support of Palestine. 

The incident took place during a regular mass cycle ride through the Spanish capital organised by the Bicicrítica collective, and left five people with mild injuries. 

While Bicicritica’s cause is usually demands for more public space for bicycles and greener mobility options, on Thursday they had opted to show their support for the Palestinian people in the wake of the outbreak of war with Israel. 

In videos posted on social media, the motorist, who was travelling in a grey Seat Leon, is seen to approach a group of the cyclists from behind, knocking them over as he passes. The car then is seen to flee the scene. 

Via the Bicicritica channel on the messaging service Telegram, the cyclists gave their version of events, explaining that the motorist had tried to pass them around the San Bernardo roundabout, ‘invading the opposite lane’. 

Motorist runs over pro-Palestine protestors

When he did so, he reportedly knocked one of the cyclists over. He then encountered more of the collective on Alberto Aguilera street, where his path was blocked by the cyclists. 

“He accelerated and knocked a number of them over, fleeing the scene by hitting a number of other people,” the group members explained in comments reported by Spanish daily El Pais

The man then reportedly turned himself in to the National Police in the capital, admitting his actions but also claiming that he and his partner, who was also in the car, had first been assaulted by the cyclists. This, he said, was what prompted his actions. 

The man tested negative for alcohol and was not arrested by the police. He will, however, be investigated for dangerous driving. 

The spokesperson for the leftist Mas Madrid party in Madrid City Hall, Rita Maestre, voiced her support for the cyclists on social media.

“The free bar for the use of cars [in Madrid] has turned into hostility for the cyclist movement,” she wrote on X (formerly Twitter). “We want Madrid to be a city for bikes.”

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Simon Hunter

Simon Hunter has been living in Madrid since the year 2000 and has worked as a journalist and translator practically since he arrived. For 16 years he was at the English Edition of Spanish daily EL PAÍS, editing the site from 2014 to 2022, and is currently one of the Spain reporters at The Times. He is also a voice actor, and can be heard telling passengers to "mind the gap" on Spain's AVLO high-speed trains.

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