Violent protests over the jailing of rapper Pablo Hasel have resumed in Barcelona, reportedly leading to more than a dozen arrests as rioters torched a police van, threw objects at officers and damaged banks and other businesses.
Video footage posted Saturday on Twitter shows men in dark hoodies dousing a police van with flammable liquid to stoke a larger fire. El Mundo newspaper reported that a driver was inside the van as the rioters caused the fire to spread.
Video shot from another angle near the same scene shows people throwing bottles, flares and other objects at a group of police vehicles and spray-painting the vehicles with anarchist symbols.
The larger fire is then sparked as a person throws flammable liquid on the van.
A still photo by the Associated Press shows a hooded man spraying flammable liquid through the broken window of a bank to cause a fire inside to expand.
A protestor try to burn a bank branch after breaking the window following a protest condemning the arrest of rap singer Pablo Hasél in Barcelona, Saturday, Feb. 27, 2021. pic.twitter.com/hpt4D1HQ3u
— Emilio Morenatti (@EmilioMorenatti) February 27, 2021
The moment demonstrators shattered the window of a Zara clothing store was captured on video as well.
The rioters also lit a fire at the entrance of an exclusive hotel, after smashing the huge glass doors of the building.
Footage from another scene shows police moving quickly to arrest a female demonstrator in the street as she yelled for help. The clip doesn’t show what led to her arrest.
Saturday’s violence followed two relatively quiet nights in Barcelona, as the city got a break from the demonstrations. Protests began in Barcelona and Madrid after Hasel was arrested on February 16. The rapper, whose real name is Pablo Rivadulla, was jailed over a 2018 conviction. A court found that his social media posts and lyrics praised Spanish terrorist groups and mocked Spain’s royalty, in violation of the country’s so-called “gag law.”
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