More than a hundred people took part in Saturday’s demonstration organised by Spain’s fascist movement, the Falange (“Phalanx”), demanding that la Cruz de los Caídos de Callosa, the Cross of the Fallen, remains in place in the centre of Callosa del Segura.
They joined with members of the local community saying that the monument, which they feel it has now become part of the fabric of the town, should be exempted from the Historical Memory Law, which was introduced by the Socialist Government in 2007 and which requires the removal of objects that glorify the memory of Franco in the civil war.
However it also provides for some exceptions for “artistic, architectural or religious-artistic” reasons. Which the protesters and a group of local residents’ claim that the Socialist mayor has chosen to disregard.
The protest was attended by Manuel Andrino, leader of the Falange in Spain. He was part of a contingent of approximately 65 supporters who arrived in Callosa, having been bussed down from Madrid.
He also delivered perhaps the most inflammatory of all the speeches constantly referring to “bastard Zapatero”, who approved the Historical Memory Law, and to the “imbeciles who drafted it 9 years ago.
Despite the provocative tone of the speech, the protest unfolded without and major incident although there were isolated skirmishes and verbal confrontations in which a group of spectators called for the removal of the falange banners, but they required only the brief intervention of the ten Civil Guard officers that stood by.
The local opposition group, the Platform in Defense of the Cross of Callosa, pointed out that they were not connected in any way to the demonstration, although one of their members, Carmelo Bernabéu, did read out a prepared statement to the assembled gathering.