Tuesday, January 23, 2007

Looking For Trouble In Alcorcón

Some truly disturbing events took place this weekend in the town of Alcorcón, near to Madrid. A dispute between two teenage couples degenerated later into a massive brawl between two groups composed mainly of South American and Spanish youths. As a result of this brawl, one young Spaniard was stabbed. That might have been the end of it, but it seems that some of the Spanish involved decided to turn it into something more serious, using the stabbing incident as a pretext.

On Sunday as many as 1000 Spanish youths were on the streets of Alcorcón allegedly seeking a confrontation with gangs of South Americans. In reality they spent much of the day in scuffles with riot police and managed to create a situation where immigrants in the town were afraid to leave their homes. The police response has been a little curious, they arrested 7 people following Saturday night’s brawl – all South Americans. Then, faced with 1000 Spaniards seeking to organise their own mini pogrom, and attacking the police in the process, the result was only 2 arrests! One family involved had to be escorted from their own home by the police to protect them from the mob.

It seems that far right groups are already involved in what is going on and are attempting to organise a demonstration for this Saturday. It’s a very ugly situation, and what makes it even more disturbing is the number of people here who find excuses for the behaviour of the racists. Despite the police making it clear that they were not involved, much of the talk about the incidents focuses on organised Latin American gangs. Somehow the blame ends up with those who are actually the victims.

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