Pamplona, Spain, Jul 12 (EFE).- Demonstrators took over a main square in this northern Spanish city on Tuesday to denounce several incidents of sexual aggression during the ongoing San Fermin bull-run festival and demand an end to the harassment of women attending the nine-day party.
The protesters gathered at the centuries-old Plaza del Castillo at the time when the peñas, social clubs that fill the streets with color and music during the festivities, are normally making their way from their headquarters to the Pamplona bull ring for the daily bullfights.
Despite the suffocating heat, several hundred people, among them the first vice president of the Government of Navarre and Pamplona’s mayor, attended the gathering.
Music DJs handed the stage and microphones over to one of the demonstrators, who delivered a defiant message: “There aren’t too many of us. There are too many of them, the slobberers who rub up against us, who harass us non-stop, who hit us, the ones who sexually assault us, who invade our space just because we’re women.”
“We’re fed up … and we’re not afraid of you,” the demonstrator said, adding that “we want a festival where there’s also space for us, where we can be free.”
After a loud whistle that lasted for several minutes, one of the spokeswomen for Spain’s Feminist Movement took the microphone and said eight women “have reported coming down ill after feeling a pin prick.”
Tests thus far have not shown any indication of the use of chemical submission drugs, although the spokeswoman said the incidents are “unacceptable.”
The Feminist Movement says there have been at least 21 “low-intensity” aggressions since the San Fermin festival began last Wednesday and one “high-intensity” attack on Saturday when a woman left the house of some friends in the Pamplona neighborhood of San Juan and hours later regained consciousness several kilometers away in the Mendillorri neighborhood “with evidence of having been sexually assaulted.”
“We want to enjoy ourselves. We don’t want aggressors at our festivals. Let it be clear with this whistle that there’s no place for them here,” one demonstrator said. EFE