The Madrid prosecutor’s office opened an investigation on Monday after a crowd of about 200 people sporting Nazi paraphernalia marched in the Spanish capital’s gay-friendly neighbourhood of Chueca on Saturday shouting offensive anti-LGBT slogans.
The protesters shouted “Out of our neighbourhood” and “Get out of Madrid” prefaced by derogatory words for gay people, the prosecutor’s office said in a statement.
Homophobic hate crimes have been in the headlines in Spain since a man was beaten to death in July over his sexual orientation. The government said this month it would create specialised groups within the Interior Ministry and the police force to prevent hate crimes and support victims.
El Pais reports:
Around 200 people gathered on Saturday in the gay-friendly neighborhood of Chueca, known as the center of Spain’s annual Pride celebrations, where they shouted insults such as “get fags out of our neighborhood” and “get those sidosos [AIDS-ridden people] out of Madrid,” as they marched toward the city’s landmark Puerta del Sol square.
During the two-hour demonstration, the group set off flares, carried signs with far-right symbols and expressed their contempt for unaccompanied migrant minors and migrants more broadly. As well as the homophobic chants, demonstrators yelled “Here are the nationalists,” a reference to those who supported dictator Francisco Franco during the Spanish Civil War (1936-1939).
The participants – who were escorted by riot police and several National Police vans – also waved Spanish flags and symbols of Juventud Nacional (National Youth), an organization linked to the far-right party España 2000 (Spain 2000).