Violence erupted late Wednesday as Vox supporters gathered for an event to launch a regional election campaign in the Spanish capital’s southern district of Valleque, which traditionally votes for the left.
However, about 2 thousand people gathered during the rally. counter-protesters who began chanting anti-fascist slogans and throwing stones and other objects at police officers, who in turn used sticks against them.
According to police, four people were arrested, “including three minors,” and 21 officers were injured, although none of them suffered serious injuries.
Emergency services on Twitter announced that 14 more people had been helped due to bruises and cuts.
Vox leader Santiago Abascalis, who led the rally, accused the left-wing government of the violence, saying police had failed to prevent an “act of intimidation” in which rally participants were “attacked and insulted up close”.
“The stones and bottles were flying right over our heads,” he told Antena 3 television.
“I strongly condemn the harassment and violence against any democratic party,” opposition leader Pablo Casado of the right-wing People’s Party wrote on Twitter.
However, Pablo Iglesias, leader of the left-wing Podema party, who recently resigned as deputy prime minister to run in the Madrid elections, blamed Vox for the outbreak of violence.
“The images leave no doubt: you can see an ultra-right-wing demonstrator throwing things at the population, and Abascalis and his bandits break through the police cordon to provoke an attack by the police,” Iglesias wrote on Twitter.
“That’s not true,” Abascal replied, calling Podema’s manager a “pathological liar.”