A group angry at Catalonia’s independence movement set up parasols and beach towels in the colours of the Spanish national flag in the resort of Arenys de Mar at the weekend.
A group of around 15 people from anti-independence campaign groups set up parasols and laid out beach towels on the sand in Arenys de Mar, just outside Barcelona early on Sunday.
The group said they were moved to do so as a counter-protest against the yellow ribbons that have appeared all over the region as a symbol of support for Catalonia’s “political prisoners”.
The group, who arrived about 8 am and stayed for around 3.5 hours, went swimming in the sea, emerging from the water with shouts of “Viva España!”.
Explaining the protest, Daniel Iglesias, the spokesman of the Citizens of Spain Action and Resistance Group (GARCE) said: “We are not afraid. Catalonia IS Spain. The beaches are for everyone. Better Spanish parasols than yellow crosses.”
He was referring to the appearance of yellow crosses on beaches in Catalonia to protest against the detention behind bars of Catalan politicians charged with sedition and treason over their roles in the illegal referendum of October 1st.
Towns across Catalonia have been strewn with yellow symbols; ribbons tied to railings, bunting at village fiestas, and yellow crosses in fields, parks and beaches. Banners calling for the release of jailed politicians hang from balconies across the region.
The war of symbols has on occasion sparked angry scenes. Violent clashes broke out in Canet de Mar in May, when a group of hooded people, reportedly members of a far-right group, stormed a beach to tear down a “cemetery” of yellow crosses. Three were injured.
One twitter commentator noted that the Spanish flags on Sunday brought no such conflict.
“No one has insulted them. Nobody has tried to pull them down. That is the difference.”