October has been marked by the approval of the Democratic Memory Law, which has ignited the spirits of extreme right-wing groups and parties, whose speeches and acts praising Francoism are now punishable by the new law. The link between the extreme right and the police forces has jumped into the media after the decoration awarded to the leader of España2000 and the participation of a police officer in a Vox conference. Santiago Abascal’s party also held a major event in October in which it received leaders of the extreme right from various European and Latin American countries.
Updates in the National Landscape
The main milestone of the month has been the definitive approval by the Senate of the Law of Democratic Memory, with which for the first time the Spanish State condemns Franco’s coup d’état and his totalitarian regime. Among some of the novelties of the new law, in addition to the State’s assumption of the search for the disappeared during the dictatorship, is the resignification of the Valley of the Fallen, a mausoleum built by Franco to honor the fallen Francoists in the civil war and the himself, whose body was already exhumed from this pantheon in 2019. It also contemplates sanctions for actions that suppose the exaltation of the Franco regime. A point that has caused the protest of the groups of the extreme right and of Vox. On the day of its processing, a few dozen militants from the Falange Española de las JONS and La Falange went to the Senate to protest. The two Falangist parties also issued a joint statement in the days prior to the approval of the law in which they accused the socialist government of “imposing a manipulated version of history” and, above all, criticizing the exhumation of the body of José Antonio Primo de Rivera, founder of the Falange, from the Valley of the Fallen. On behalf of Vox, its MEP Jorge Buxadé gave conferences at the European Parliament headquarters in Strasbourg against the new law and, at the national level, the party is trying to protect by law certain “elements of Spanish heritage” related to the Franco dictatorship. https://twitter.com/fedelasjons/status/1577682575199444992 https://twitter.com/lafalange/status/1577680644523556867 https://www.lamoncloa.gob.es/serviciosdeprensa/notasprensa/mpresidencia14/Paginas/2022/051022-bolanos-ley-memoria-democratica.aspx#:~:text=El%20Senado%20ha%20aprobado%20la,inolvidable%20para%20la%20democracia%20espa%C3%B1ola. https://twitter.com/VOX_Europa_/status/1583430577067212800 https://twitter.com/eldebate_com/status/1582063899670896650 https://twitter.com/lafalange/status/1578364084726423552 https://twitter.com/ViktorMedina/status/1584527841831505921 From the Popular Party they have also already announced their opposition to changing the name of streets that currently honor the Blue Division, sent by Franco to fight alongside the Nazis in World War II. https://twitter.com/AntonioMaestre/status/1584911792593141760 Entities such as the Francisco Franco Foundation have also responded to the new law, in the face of its possible outlawing, and from Hazte Oír have sent letters to the current King Felipe VI encouraging him, since the monarchy in Spain is heir to Francoism, to “prepare for what that comes over him”. https://www.publico.es/politica/fundacion-franco-le-recuerda-felipe-vi-trono-gracias-dictador.html
Other milestones in national politics in Spain that have led to a reaction on the part of the extreme right have been the pending renewal of the magistrates who form part of the General Council of the Judiciary, which in Spain would be the equivalent of the government of the judges, and the announcement by the government of the revision in the Penal Code of the crime of sedition for which the leaders of the Catalan independence movement were convicted in Catalan institutions in 2019. The announcement of the criminal change has been used by the Popular Party to announce a sine die blockade of the renewal of the judicial body, a decision applauded and supported by the far-right Vox party. https://twitter.com/Santi_ABASCAL/status/1586349341555314688 https://twitter.com/Santi_ABASCAL/status/1584873581896683520
The rejection of the Catalan independence movement has also been the protagonist in two mythical dates for the extreme right in Spain. On the one hand, on October 12, Hispanic Heritage Day, which in Catalonia was celebrated with anti-separatist rallies in which dozens of people displayed Francoist symbols, and on October 9, the day of the Valencian Country, a date on which the extreme right also celebrates its anti-Catalanism . In Valencia, España2000 and La Falange have called demonstrations against Catalanism and against the current Valencian government. https://twitter.com/E2000_Valencia/status/1575923088646078471 https://twitter.com/lafalange/status/1579160274564616192 https://twitter.com/lafalange/status/1579086109195538433 Three days later, on October 12, Columbus Day, groups and parties of the extreme right again called demonstrations. The most notorious were in Barcelona, ​​although they did not gather many people. One of the convening parties and groups was National Democracy, with a march from Plaza de España to Montjuic with Pablo Lucini, Enrique Lemus —from El Alcázar—, Vicente EStarelles —Spain in Memory— and Miguel Blasco —Here the voice of Europe— as headliners. Falange, for its part, summoned its followers to the monument to Christopher Columbus, where Vox supporters also gathered under the slogan “For the unity of Spain.” https://lalertacanal.cat/cronica-ultradreta-a-barcelona-feixistes-neonazis-12-octubre-hispanitat-genocidi-2022/ https://twitter.com/D_Nacional/status/1577594865629667330 https://www.elnacional.cat/es/sociedad/manifestacion-ultra-fascismo-montjuic-barcelona-democracia-nacional-mossos-esquadra_898755_102.html https://twitter.com/lafalange/status/1578850023478992896 https://twitter.com/vox_es/status/1580189487245586432
October has been an important month for Vox, which has held its big party , Viva22, on the 9th and 10th, which they claim has been attended by 35,000 people and in which they have presented their latest communication strategy, Spain Decide, a program with the that the party claims to intend to promote popular consultations on issues such as energy policy, migration, education, outlawing separatist parties, water, subsidies and data sovereignty. https://xn--espaadecide-4db.es/general/files/ESPANA-DECIDE.pdf https://twitter.com/vox_es/status/1579444120971526145
The party led by Santiago Abascal has also had strong changes in its organization chart in October, with Javier Ortega Smith now assuming the vice presidency of the party and the candidacy for the next municipal elections in Madrid, and Ignacio Garriga, number one of Vox in Catalonia, the position Secretary General of Vox. https://twitter.com/Igarrigavaz/status/1577990196901154817 https://twitter.com/Santi_ABASCAL/status/1577979131471478784
Falange and Falange Española de las JONS have also celebrated their anniversary this month, although with a more discreet party. The party held an act in front of the Teatro de la Comedia in Madrid on October 29, which was authorized on the 22nd of the same month despite the fact that the Democratic Memory Law prohibits acts that praise the coup. https://elcorreodeespana.com/amp/politica/530323508/Autorizado-el-acto-del-proximo-sabado-dia-29-para-conmemorar-la-fundacion-de-Falange-frente-al-Teatro-de-la-Comedia-.html https://twitter.com/_viejaguardia/status/1582401759053770752 https://twitter.com/lafalange/status/1586777325143822338 https://twitter.com/_viejaguardia/status/1583440520008777728
España2000 has also had its moment of glory this month. Its leader, José Luis Roberto, has been awarded by the National Police in Paterna (Valencia) for the collaboration that his company, Levantina de Seguridad, provides to this body. The award has caused controversy to the point that the Minister of the Interior, Fernando Grande-Marlaska, has announced that the Higher Police Headquarters of the Valencian Community is going to open a file “to purge the responsibilities that come”. https://www.elsaltodiario.com/extrema-derecha/policia-nacional-premia-conocido-lider-ultraderecha-valenciana https://www.elmundo.es/comunidad-valenciana/2022/10/06/633ecb96fc6c830d208b45a9.html
It was at the beginning of October, and a little less than two weeks later, another story appeared in the media linking the police with the extreme right. This time the protagonist was Ricardo Ferris, a police inspector, who in a conference organized by Vox in Valencia, stated that “irregular immigration is equal to crime” and that “practically all of those detained”. Six days later, the General Directorate of Police relieved Ferris of his position for offering false data at the conference with the aim of relating immigration to crime. https://www.elsaltodiario.com/crimenes-de-odio/asociaciones-antirracistas-llevan-fiscalia-excomisario-llamo-delincuentes-migrantes https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=YDgpTMpmUf0&ab_channel=VOXCortesValencianas https://elpais.com/espana/comunidad-valenciana/2022-10-20/interior-releva-al-inspector-jefe-de-una-comisaria-de-valencia-que-aseguro-que-la-mayoria-de-detenidos-son-extranjeros.html
October has also been a prolific month in terms of far-right violence and its response in court. On October 25, the police arrested a man for an attack on a person of Moroccan origin on the 7th of this month in the Sevillian town of San Juan de Aznalfarache. The detainee, who already has a history of assaults on people of foreign origin, had tattoos of Nazi symbols. Specifically some sigel runes of the Schutzstaffel (SS). https://www.europapress.es/andalucia/sevilla-00357/noticia-detenido-varon-tatuajes-corte-nazi-apunalar-varon-origen-marroqui-san-juan-sevilla-20221025191354.html
The previous month, at the end, three other people who carried Nazi symbols were arrested in Gerona for stabbing a young man at the Santa Coloma de Farners festivities on September 23. https://www.ccma.cat/324/apunyalament-a-santa-coloma-de-farners-preso-per-a-un-detingut-vinculat-al-neonazisme/noticia/3186853/ In Catalonia, the leader of National Democracy in the autonomous community, Alberto Bruguera, and two other extreme right-wing people have been sentenced for insulting and assaulting three Catalan pro-independence people in 2018. The sentence, just one and a half years in prison, which It will not imply the entry into prison of any of the three, a long way from the one requested by the Prosecutor’s Office, which amounted to six years in prison. https://www.eldiario.es/catalunya/condenados-penas-minimas-tres-neonazis-agresion-grito-rojos-cerdos-independentistas_1_9640982.html In Madrid, Melisa Domínguez, leader of Hogar Social Madrid, was tried on the 19th of this month for calling a rally in front of one of the largest mosques in Madrid, whose walls were covered with messages of hate the next day. The prosecutor asks for three years in prison for her. https://www.elsaltodiario.com/islamofobia/fiscalia-pide-tres-anos-prision-para-dirigente-hogar-social-islamofobia https://www.europapress.es/madrid/noticia-fiscal-mantiene-anos-carcel-cabecilla-hogar-social-vincular-islam-yihadismo-20221019133543.html
There have also been developments in the judicial process against Manuel Murillo, initially sentenced to seven and a half years in prison for attempting to assassinate Spanish President Pedro Sánchez in response to the processing of the Democratic Memory Law. The National Court has increased the sentence to 15 more months to reach nine years in prison. https://elpais.com/espana/2022-10-27/la-audiencia-eleva-la-pena-de-carcel-al-tirador-ultraderechista-que-queria-matar-a-pedro-sanchez.html In Valencia, despite the fact that since April the harassment of women who go to a clinic to have an abortion is included as a crime in the Penal Code, the courts have decided to acquit them of the ultra-Catholic organization 40 days for Life, which calls prayers in front of the clinic. https://www.eldiario.es/comunitat-valenciana/acoso-organizado-clinica-interrupcion-embarazo-valencia-mujeres-sienten-intimidadas_1_9632796.html
Transnational Activities & Group Interactions
The great Vox party in Madrid, under the slogan ‘The History we made together’, became the meeting point for great personalities of the world extreme right on October 8 and 9, such as Donald Trump, Giorgia Meloni, Álvaro Uribe, Viktor Orbán or Mateusz Morawiecki, André Ventura —from the Portuguese Chega party—, Javier Milei —from the Argentine La Libertad Avanza party—, Jose Antonio Kast —from the Chilean Republican Party—, former Bolivian president Jeanine Áñez and Texas senator Ted Cruz, representative of the most right wing of the Republican party. https://www.newtral.es/viva-22-vox/20221009/
After his big party, in the following two days Vox held an Ibero-American Summit “against communism and globalism” at the Sao Paulo Forum. Among its participants were, once again, Jose Antonio Kast and Javier Milei. Also Mike Gonzalez, from the Heritage Foundation, Rodrigo Ballester, from the Hungarian Mathias Corvinus Collegium. https://twitter.com/VOX_Europa_/status/1577241073717760001 https://twitter.com/rodballester/status/1581954850987814912
From Spain 2000 in October they traveled to Rome for the anniversary of the March on Rome. Although there is no information on the number of militants of this far-right party that participated in the trip, its leader, José Luis Roberto, has published images of his visit to Casa Pound in Rome. https://twitter.com/E2000_Valencia/status/1573310365232168962 https://twitter.com/JLRoberto1953/status/1586296757939585025 https://twitter.com/JLRoberto1953/status/1585954438749081601/photo/1 https://twitter.com/JLRoberto1953/status/1585688178597429263/photo/1
Transnational Developments on Discourse in Mainstream Media
In the European Parliament, the main interventions of the Vox MEPs have been focused on the subsidies granted to Moroccan agriculture and the alleged participation of George Soros in the Catalan independence process. https://twitter.com/VOX_Europa_/status/1585572501438038016 https://twitter.com/VOX_Europa_/status/1585582379216797701