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Seven thousand Spanish nationalist ultras, according to the Spanish government's Madrid delegation, turned the centre of Spain's capital into a scene of violence this Tuesday evening, with the Socialist (PSOE) party headquarters in Calle Ferraz and the Congress of Deputies encircled. The Spanish National Police (CNP) ended up drawing batons on those who tried to break their cordon, as well as firing tear gas at the demonstrators who were besieging the PSOE headquarters. For one more night, the Spanish capital saw its streets ignite against the proposed amnesty for independence process prosecutions. "Puigdemont, to prison" and "Pedro Sánchez, son of a bitch", were the big hits among the chants used by the extremists that gathered this evening in Madrid.

It is not the first night that the police have used batons against the españolistas in recent days. On Monday, the CNP were outnumbered by the number of people who the far right were able to draw to the protest. This time, however, the anti-catalan demonstrators protesting against the still-unknown amnesty law encountered increased police presence. The intention of the Spanish police was to avoid more vivid images of baton charges against demonstrators draped in Spanish flags, as well as not having to resort to launching tear gas. However, they failed on both counts.

Protesta amnistia acord independentistes seu PSOE Ferraz, Efe

Neo-Nazi and Desokupa groups involved 

The Spanish police decided to send in dozens more officers to the Madrid neighbourhood of Argüelles after they learned that the neo-Nazi group Bastión Frontal intended to get involved in this evening's protest outside the Socialist headquarters. Daniel Esteve, the leader of Desokupa, an organization specialising in private squatter eviction, which belongs to the extreme right ecosystem of Vox, had also expressed his intention to participate.

policia ferraz
Europa Press

The Spanish government had, this Tuesday, already come out in defence of the PSOE. In the usual press conference after the weekly cabinet meeting, spokesperson Isabel Rodríguez asserted that "an attack on political parties is an attack on democracy". "More than mobilizations, these are attacks", she flatly declared, in addition to directing a large part of her own responses to the People's Party (PP). Vox is behind these mobilizations - Santiago Abascal himself has participated - but the PP is turning a blind eye; some leaders of the main opposition party have come out to show their sympathy with the mobilizations at PSOE headquarters.

Two targets, batons and tear gas

This Tuesday, the mobilization was initially concentrated at the Calle Ferraz building. There was a tense calm when a hundred demonstrators encouraged those attending to head towards the Moncloa government palace. They quickly changed their plans and decided to gather at the doors of the Congress of Deputies. They headed along Madrid's Gran Via and the Paseo del Prado. But once they found that Spain's lower house was being guarded by a dozen police vans, they turned around.

The gathering in front of Congress did not last more than 15 minutes. And, in a game of cat and mouse with police, they then decided to return to Calle Ferraz. Amid fascist chants and with neo-Nazi symbols on show, the PSOE headquarters once again become the target of the ultras. It was then that the revelry began: a particularly angry crowd started throwing glass bottles at the officers who were part of the police cordon, and tried to break down the barrier fences erected to protect the Spanish headquarters of the Socialist party.

Then, the CNP fired volleys, to warn of an imminent charge. Drawing their batons, they beat dozens of Spanish nationalist ultras, who quickly dispersed due to the tear gas fired by the police. Around eleven o'clock on Tuesday night, all that remained were a few far-rightists roaming the streets and trying to provoke the police.