Riot in Barcelona, Spain

Published: 07/24/13 2:43 AM in Europe, Travel.
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During our stay in the city we got to experience a very unique occurrence in a city that beautiful: a protest and subsequent riot in Barcelona. The protest had to do with the government lowering the monetary amount citizens would get when collecting unemployment. Although we heard many different opinions from citizens, the actions of the city spoke for themselves as a slight degree of chaos broke loose through the city.

What started as a simple organized march with raised flags and chants, turned into a mass of people taking advantage of the chaos. Throughout the day trash cans were set of fire, rocks were thrown, buildings were scaled and spray painted, and riot police were brought in to control the crowd. For a look at the more intense areas of the riot, check out this perspective.

However the most amazing part of the entire experience was how peaceful the entire thing felt. Not once did we feel threatened or unsafe as we took it all in. Although we did stay out of the major areas when we identified them. The other amazing part was how fast the city cleaned itself up. By the next day, the only evidence of a protest were a few broken shop windows that were in the process of being fixed.

Citizens march during a riot in Barcelona.

A riot in Barcelona resulted in small fires around the city.


Throughout the city, we encountered many small fires usually started in trash cans. The fires were definitely the most concerning part of the whole ordeal for us since it is easy for that to get out of control. However, as you can see in the photo, the majority of the people were completely unconcerned with the smoke.


A pirate flag seen during a riot in Barcelona.

Citizens show their anger during a riot in Barcelona.

In a riot in Barcelona, trash cans are dragged into the streets.

Riot police try to control a riot in Barcelona.

Riot police show up during a riot in Barcelona.


Once the riot police came onto the scene, the situation got significantly more interesting to watch. Nothing too major happened in the areas we were in, but there a few people that resisted the police coming in to break up the gathering. They stayed on the scene until that night, when the entire occurrence was over.


Anger Spaniards scale buildings during a riot in Barcelona.

Rioters take over the city during a riot in Barcelona.

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