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“There’s a lot of anger and a cluster of problems.”

Ten of the protesters in Barcelona and Valencia explain why they took part in this week’s protests following Hasel’s arrest
Pablo Hasél’s imprisonment for a nine-month sentence for the rise of terrorism has been the trigger for the many protests that have taken place this week in Barcelona, Valencia, Madrid and other Spanish cities, and which have ended with violent clashes with the police. But the outbreak of demonstrations, mainly caused by young people, also reveals a background unease and a fed-up that goes beyond the arrest of the rapper, the defense of freedom of expression and the influence that the most radical groups can exert, according to some protesters. “There is a lot of accumulated anger,” explains one of the ten consulted by this newspaper in Barcelona, the epicentre of the altercations, and in Valencia, where there have been eight detainees. Most young people come from groups and formations of nationalist, independence, anarchist, anti-nazi and broad-spectrum ideology on the left.
“There is a lot of anger and a cluster of injustices and problems that we suffer most from young people, but extend to the rest of society. We can’t access the labour market or we have very precarious jobs, although I don’t think it’s easier for a 50-year-old, for example,” says Alex Guangzhou, 24, a graduate in Political Science, a master’s degree in Cooperation, who makes a living as a Just Eat delivery man. He has participated in the two rallies in Valencia, along with Babacar Diagne and Juan Antonio García Ruiz, his fellow students.
“We come to the protest, but Hasel is one more excuse. We protest the evictions, the helpless and unincovered people, the years of repression that we already have on us. Incarceration has only been the last straw,” says Laura, 40, shortly before Friday’s protest in Barcelona. She is dedicated to the world of business communication. Ruben, 36, in the field of technology. He doesn’t want to give any more details: “It’s the breeding ground we live in and more with the pandemic. People have lost their jobs, for months no one has been able to manifest themselves and express that this doesn’t work and a boy goes and goes out and sings something that’s true and they imprison him,” rubén says.

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