Saturday night saw civil disobedience protests against the nationwide curfew erupting into violence around Spain. 

In Ibiza about 100 people gathered and fires were set by protesters. 

Though widespread, the events in Spain were nothing like the scale of those in parts of Italy and France.


32 people were arrested in the center of Madrid on Saturday night. The illegal demonstration was centred on the capital’s Gran Vía boulevard where protesters set public rubbish bins alight and damaged store fronts and other commercial premises, particularly banks. 3 police officers suffered minor injuries. 

The protest was organized via social media. Officers cleared the chanting protestors from the central Puerta del Sol square, and the crowds moved to the Plaza de Isabel II as reported in El Pais. There, a hundred or so people chanted slogans against the Spanish prime minister, Pedro Sánchez. Some of them then moved to the Plaza de España, where they set fire to trash containers and tried to use barricades to cut off the Gran Vía.

Street chases then ensued and protestors threw objects at police vehicles. The situation lasted around 20 minutes. Those arrested face public order and damages offences.


Police say around 100 people gathered in the Vara de Rey after the curfew. Police arrested one man who who they describe as a ringleader who was urging the crowd into violence and abuse. The individual was not carrying documentation and has refused to identify himself. 

Police also fined a further 18 people for not wearing masks, 6 for breaking curfew and 4 for disobedience. 

Ibiza also followed other cities in setting fire to public rubbish containers (for our UK readers think a giant wheelie bin, around 10 times the size of a domestic wheelie bin). Garbage containers were set alight before the curfew on Carrer Joan Xicó, and after the curfew in Carrer Pere Francès and another on Carrer Menorca Street. At 1am a fire was set in the cashier office of a La Caixa bank. 


The first violence of the weekend was in Barcelona where what head of the regional police, Pere Ferrer termed “very violent and organized far-right groups” met in the Plaza Sant Jaume. Some of the demonstrators threw barriers and fireworks at officers, and police charges ended with 12 arrests, including two minors.

Other Cities

There were similar protests on Friday night in Burgos and Cantabria.

On Saturday night in the northern city of Bilbao there were four arrests at similar protests.

In Vitoria, there were acts of vandalism in the center of the city while in San Sebastián demonstrators also set fire to trash containers.

The central government delegate in La Rioja reported that seven National Police officers were injured after serious incidents in the city of Logroño, with at least six people arrested.

In Málaga there was also damage caused by protestors and fires were set.

Four people were arrested and an officer was injured in Santander, where 50 people demonstrated against the restrictions in the central Ayuntamiento square.

Though the scale of the protests are much smaller than in areas of Italy and France, the fear of police and Government is that the protests will attract more people onto the streets and copy cat protests elsewhere in Spain.