Uprisings Across Spain After Arrest of Revolutionary Rapper Pablo Hasél

Published February 19, 2021

Uprisings Across Spain After Arrest of Revolutionary Rapper Pablo Hasél

Militants set flaming barricades in streets, smashed windows and threw rocks at riot police in cities across Spain after revolutionary rapper Pablo Hasél was arrested for insulting the Spanish monarchy.

Hasél was arrested at Lleida University in Lérida, about 150km (90 miles) west of Barcelona on Tuesday morning, a day after barricading himself inside the institution with about 20 supporters.

Hasél was sentenced to nine-months in prison for insulting the Spanish monarchy and supporting “terrorist violence.” Hasel has written lyrics in support of left-wing Basque separatist group ETA and GRUPO (First of October Anti-Fascist Groups), a Marxist-Leninist guerrilla group active in Spain until the mid-’00s. Both groups are considered “terrorist organizations” by the Spanish state. Hasel is also facing an additional two and a half years in prison for obstruction of justice and assault charges.

On Wednesday evening, militants threw objects at cops and used trash containers – setting many alight – and overturned motorbikes to block streets in Madrid, Barcelona and other cities. Some shop windows were smashed during the demonstrations.

In Barcelona on Wednesday, antif-fascists set furniture on fire in the streets, erected barricades and hurled stones and bottles at cops.

In Lérida, Hasél’s hometown, militants set fire to containers near the jail where the rapper is being held.

On Thursday, in Barcelona, revolutionaries set a barricade of trash containers and a construction skip to block the city’s main artery, and threw stones, bottles, and other objects at riot police.

Several political parties' headquarters have been graffitied. A police station in the town of Vic was attacked. Shops and banks have been smashed in several cities, including in Madrid.