Far-right Vox party and National Identity Front protesters gathered at Barcelona's Columbus monument on Saturday, where there demonstration in support of the structure was met with counter-protests.
«We are here because we defend Spain, we are here because we defend the Hispanity,» Vox Barcelona President Joan Garriga stated amid protesters holding Spanish and Catalan flags.
The demonstrators tried also tried to form a human chain around the monument but did not appear to have enough people to do so.
Police initially prevented anti-fascist counter-protesters from interrupting the demo at the monument, although a small group of LGBTQ activists reached the monument after the demo was over and were met with homophobic slurs as officers quickly stepped in to separate the two groups.
«To me, Columbus monument represents white supremacy, so far it is a [white supremacy] symbol. They even have it in Spanish passports,» LGBTQ protester Alfre said, referring to the 132 old 60 m (197 ft) tall monument erected to honour Columbus' first trip to the Americas.
«We could not get to the protest because before we could arrive, the police held us back, identified us, searched us,» anti-fascist protester Natalia said. «We had to stay on the wall, quiet, we could not make a call, nor contact a lawyer.»
Barcelona's Mayor Ada Colau has come out against removing the monument to the Italian navigator, as called for by some groups, proposing instead that a plaque be added to explain the whole story of colonialism and its full context.