Spain: Riot police are used to crush farmers’ protests

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by Rhoda Wilson, Expose News:

Farmer protests have been taking place since Tuesday throughout Spain.  Yesterday they announced that would they take their protest to the Socialist Party headquarters in Madrid today.  The government has announced that they would deploy riot police to avoid farmers blocking roads as they had done for the previous four days.

Meanwhile, yesterday, social media users were widely sharing footage of police aggression towards protestors.  Many are claiming these are not the usual police officers but rather members of Eurogendfor.

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On the second day of the farmers’ protests, EuroNews reported that the protests, involving several thousand people on tractors and in other vehicles, had not been backed by Spain´s three main farming organisations  However,  they had called for separate protests in the coming days.

Farmers blocked roads across Spain for the third day running on Thursday with the main farmers’ unions joining the demonstrations.  France 24 reported that some of Thursday’s actions were organised by Spain’s three main farming unions Asaja, Coag and UPA.

“Some demonstrations deteriorated into scuffles when police moved in to remove roadblocks, prompting several arrests, with the interior ministry raising to 19 the total number detained since the start of the protests,” France 24 wrote.

Yesterday, the fourth day of blocking streets across the country, the protests centred around the northern cities of Oviedo, Pamplona and Zaragoza, with tractors clogging several city streets and commuter roads. In many places, farmers kept their protests going overnight, ABC News reported.

Meanwhile, on social media on Friday the video below was being widely shared with people commenting that members of the Eurogendfor are being used against protestors.  For example, the video was shared on Twitter with the comment: “It’s being reported that the EU has deployed their European paramilitary police Eurogendfor, to crush the farmers in Granada.”

Has EU deployed their European paramilitary police Eurogendfor to crush farmers in Granada, Spain?

Other videos being shared also raise concerns about the deployment of Eurogendfor such as THIS tweet and the tweet below.

Another Twitter user suggests that the aggressive tactics used by police in the videos above are not the actions of the national police force. The translation of the comment that accompanies the video below reads: “Murcia Spain, the police set up street blockades, which the farmers easily bypass. The Spanish police take little action and let them do their thing. Clearly whose side they are on. Eurogendfor, on the contrary, they do fight, so you can recognise the difference as a layman.”

Another Twitter user suggests that the aggressive tactics used by police in the videos above are not the actions of the national police force. The translation of the comment that accompanies the video below reads: “Murcia Spain, the police set up street blockades, which the farmers easily bypass. The Spanish police take little action and let them do their thing. Clearly whose side they are on. Eurogendfor, on the contrary, they do fight, so you can recognise the difference as a layman.”

For comparison to the unforms worn by police in the videos above, some on social media are sharing the image below taken from an article about Eurogendfor officers training the National Police of Ukraine (“NPU”) in 2016.  However, no description accompanies the image and it seems that the men in the image are NPU and not Eurogendfor officers.

We make this conclusion for two reasons. Firstly, the Ukranian emblem on their uniforms. Secondly, the article stated that four Eurogendfor officers went to Ukraine.  Another image in the same article shows about 15 similarly uniformed men in the background, which in the image below the majority are out of camera shot.

Despite Eurogendfor clearly stating it is only deployed to stabilise crisis and conflict areas outside the European Union (see next section), if Eurogendfor has been deployed against the Spanish farmers, it would not be for the first time within the European Union.

In 2018, it was believed that Eurogendfor was deployed during a protest in France.  This is based on eyewitness accounts of the presence of armoured vehicles displaying the European Union flag or foreign emblems and some people seeing and recognising the Eurogendfor emblem – the blue weapon with the sword and the motto “Lex Paciferat” (English: The law makes peace).

A group of farmers announced plans yesterday to gather in Madrid for a Saturday protest near the headquarters of Prime Minister Pedro Sánchez’s Spanish Socialist Workers’ Party (“PSOE”).

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