Calls for Murcia leader to step down after reports of neo-Nazi violence at gay pride

LGBT groups and others have denounced the Murcia government for allowing a neo-Nazi demonstration to coincide with the local gay pride parade last weekend, reportedly leading to violence.

Calls for Murcia leader to step down after reports of neo-Nazi violence at gay pride
File photo of a Spanish anti-homophobia protest: AFP.

The group Diverse Murcia for Equality as well as political parties PSOE and Podemos have called for the Spanish government’s delegate to Murcia, Antonio Sánchez-Solís, to resign after he authorized an ultra right-wing group to hold a rally on Saturday during local LGBT pride festivities, broadcaster Cadena SER reported this week.

The right-wing group Lo Nuestro (What is Ours) was supposed to be holding their demo separately at a park, but at one point they marched towards the pride parade, chanting nationalistic phrases and carrying Spanish flags as well as banners critical of bringing refugees to the country, according to news agency Efe.

Parade participants told Spanish media that the group attacked people with their flags, sending revellers running away. Police intervened to escort the group to their designated protest space, and to prevent any further conflicts.

The group Diverse Murcia for Equality said that Sánchez-Solís should step down, and called for “the dissolution, prohibition and illegalization of all of the organizations that incite hatred against anything different, and use violence to impose their ideas.”

Political parties PSOE and Podemos have also called for the Murcia delegate to resign.

But on Friday Sánchez-Solís fought back against the criticism, insisting that the Constitution recognizes the right to protest, and that demos can only be prohibited when there are concrete indications that they would cause problems, Cadena SER reports.

He also stated that there was no evidence of any official reports of violence by members of Lo Nuestro against LGBT parade participants.

One person reported to police being attacked by members of a left-wing group. The one person who did report being targeted by Lo Nuestro was a newspaper photographer.

SEE ALSO: Your ultimate guide for Madrid's major gay pride fest