Students demonstrate in protest against new Spanish king

first_imgOpponents of the Spanish monarchy marched through Oxford on Monday in protest against the installation of a new Spanish king, following the abdication of Juan Carlos I in favour of his son, Felipe.Some 35 protesters, among them Oxford students, marched from the Radcliffe Camera to Cornmarket Street calling for a referendum on the continuation of the monarchy. The protest’s organisers expressed their approval at the size of the crowd, given they had only four hours’ notice. Protesters chanted, “One, two, three, republic once again”, referencing the two former Spanish republics of 1873 and 1931.Arturo Zoffman Rodriguez, who organised the protest, told Cherwell, “The king has been the visible head of a system that has taken Spain to crisis and brought misery to millions, while a few parasites line their pockets. Those same parasites orchestrated the repressionof our grandparents in 1936, were at the helm under Franco, and are still calling the shots nowadays.”He continued, “The Spanish youth and workers are starting to re-evaluate all the institutions that have been in charge of society; the traditional parties, big business, the church, and, of course, the monarchy. We don’t want to see a new king being imposed upon us as Juan Carlos was imposed upon our parents. We want to have a say and take our fate into our own hands, and the first step to do this is to have a referendum on the monarchy.”Juan Carlos I became king of Spain in 1975, having been named the next head of state by dictator Francisco Franco. He presided over Spain’s transition to democracy, and played a major role in preventing a military coup in 1981.The king announced his abdication on Monday, stating in a televised address that it was time for a new generation to take on the burdensof reform.Several republican protests have since taken place across Europe in the wake of the king’s abdication, in cities including Paris, Amsterdam,London and Berlin. Juan Carlos’ successor, Felipe, is due to be crowned on 18th June.last_img read more