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Ex-MP stirs up storm with 'hippy' tweets

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Ex-MP stirs up storm with 'hippy' tweets
Sigfrid Soria's comments about 'hippies' protesting against home evictions in front of the homes of Spanish politicians stirred up a great deal of emotion. Photo: Twitter/Joxin/Flickr
13:00 CEST+02:00
An ex-deputy for Spain's ruling Popular Party has kicked up a storm on Twitter by saying he would rip off the head of any hippy that attacked one of his daughters during an anti-eviction protest.

The tweet from Sigfrid Soria came in response to the latest wave of anti-eviction 'escraches' or protests that take place in front of the homes and offices of Spain's politicians.

The protests are being organized by Spain's anti-home eviction lobby, the PAH.

However, the protest tactic — which comes originally from Argentina — has been condemned by many politicians.  

Now, Soria, a Popular Party (PP) deputy in the Canary Islands Parliament from 2008 to 2011, has entered the fray by condemning what he perceived as bullying tactics.

On Wednesday night, he sent out several vitriolic tweets targeting the people carrying out these 'escraches'.

In one of these (below), he wrote "If a hippy (perroflauta) harasses me in the street, intimidates me or attacks me, he won't believe how hard I've hit him." 

He followed this up with a tweet about his daughters being the potential victims of an anti-eviction protest.

He added: "On top of that, if any hippy attacked one of my daughters, I'D RIP HIS HEAD OFF."

The tirade against 'hippy´protestors continued. 

"The Nazis used to paint Stars of David on the rooftops of Jewish homes, the hippies use stickers," said Soria later on Wednesday night, in reference to the stickers left by PAH members on and near the homes of targeted politicians. 

Soria made it clear that he did not condone violence but the reaction to his comments on Twitter was immediate and fierce.

"Tomorrow we're all heading to your place to egg your house and next week, you won't have a website after we tell the whole world it's all a scam," tweeted @borjaduart.

A tweeter who goes under the name Hector Carrera said: "Based on how you look, it's probably legal to hit you."

Other more considered opinions included this from the satirical Twitter account Gobierno de España (The Spanish Government).

They tweeted: "What should we do to those corrupt shameless people who allow whole families to be on the street without a home?" 

Soria followed up with this tweet: "What a response for acknowledging that I'd hit back at anybody who had previously attacked me. Are you saying that I should just put up with their aggression? What a joke!"

The anti-evictions group PAH are planning the "most active weeks" of their campaign to fight evictions yet, reported El Mundo on Wednesday.

PAH are campaigning to support the implementation of a popular initiative which was presented in Spain's parliament in February and signed by over a million and a half people.

The campaign calls for an end to all forced evictions in Spain and more social housing. 

The anti-evictions group say Spain will now see a "green spring", a reference to the the colour of the t-shirts made popular by the group's followers.

The term "escrache" comes from Argentinian slang for 'denunciation' and is a well-known form of protest in that country. 

Negative reactions to this style of protest haven't only come from the ruling Popular Party.

On Wednesday, Spain's former socialist Prime Minister Felipe González said, "Why should any child have to put up with this pressure on their doorstep?"

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