Friday, September 11, 2020

Spanish Mask Protests And Violent Police Clampdown Hard To Find Online...,

VOA  |  A movement that denies the existence of COVID-19 has split Spanish society as the country is battling to control the highest number of coronavirus cases in Europe.

Stop Confinamiento España, one of the groups behind the movement, has said it will hold a protest next month in Madrid, calling it a “peaceful demonstration against the measures imposed in connection with the false health crisis caused by COVID-19.”

The strength of feeling among those who claim coronavirus is an invention by a ruling elite to control the masses was demonstrated when an estimated 2,500 people staged a protest in Madrid on Sunday. 

The movement has gained ground thanks in part to the support of high profile celebrity supporters like Miguel Bosé, a popular Spanish singer.

Bosé has used his social media platforms in recent weeks to promote what some describe as conspiracy theories about COVID-19, and he claimed a planned vaccine was a pretext to control the world’s population using 5G mobile phone technology.

Sunday’s demonstration echoed those in June staged in cities across Spain by mainly right wing groups that were protesting restrictions imposed on personal freedoms by the left wing coalition government in order to curtail a rising number of coronavirus cases. 

Spain last week announced a nationwide ban on smoking and drinking in public if social distancing cannot be guaranteed.

The COVID-19 denial movement in Spain echoes similar libertarian movements that have sprung up in the U.S., France, Britain and Germany.

The controversial cause has divided Spaniards, with recent polls showing a quarter of the population objects to the obligatory use of face masks across the country.