#VolemAcollir: Massive Protests in Support of Refugees in Catalunya
A set of images from #VolemAcollir – an immense protest organised in Barcelona in support of refugees. The main slogan “Prou excuses. Acollim ara” can be translated as “Enough excuses. We welcome now”. This reflects concern that the central Spanish government is not fulfilling its commitments to settling refugees, and also a recent call for Catalunya to provide even more direct support.
After enduring months of watching the US and the UK slide into a mire of hard-rightwing xenophobia it is incredibly uplifting to see people here in Catalunya marching in support of people in need of help regardless of where they were born. As the posters state, the refugee is not your enemy – it is the people that create the refugees in the first place.
Trump is fighting to impose an illegal discriminatory ban on Muslim immigrants and refugees and a brexit-obsessed Theresa May is trying to prevent child refugees from entering the UK and has also committed to withdraw from the European Convention on Human Rights. And Rajoy is dragging his heels on refugee quotas in Spain.
Yet here in Catalunya, people are marching in defence of human rights regardless of race or religion. As with all things Catalan, this is mixed with the independence movement here – such that people are marching with banners that call for a Catalan Republic which supports the right to asylum.
Even more astonishing was the immense number of people on this march. The Guardia Urbana estimates around 160.000 marchers, although I would not be surprised if it was larger still. Equally astonishing was the sheer diversity of the marchers, who appeared to span all ages, backgrounds and ethnicities. Just amazing.
All images taken with the M 262 and Zeiss 35mm f1.4 (both of which now need some TLC after I managed to fall over and land on the camera…)