Spain: nude protesters interrupt Congress

politics | Oct 09, 2013 | By Martin Barillas

Three nearly-nude women interrupted the proceedings of Spain’s Congress on October 9. Nude from the waist up, as is typical of other protests staged by the group that calls itself ‘Femen’ all over Europe, the trio shouted “Abortion is sacred!”. The president of the chamber, Jesús Posada, ordered their immediate removal while also calling for a break in the body’s deliberations. Observers said that the protesters were difficult to understand because of their foreign accents. Nonetheless, various male members of leftist parties applauded the stunt.
 
The Femen feminists chose the moment when Spain’s Minister of Justice Alberto Ruiz Gallardón was speaking to strip off their blouses and shout their paean to pregnancy termination. Apparently angered by the protest, Posada called on police and guards to clear the observers from the chamber. Some of the Femen protesters held on to the columns in the observers’ seats while Posada called upon guards to “proceed with caution.”  
 
 
(Lara Alcazar)
 
Gallardón later remonstrated those members of the chamber who applauded Femen’s antics. 
 
Few members of the Congress applauded the protesters who, besides screaming their pro-abortion statements, also had the words ‘Abortion is sacred’ smeared on their nude torsos. It took several minutes for guards to remove the protesters, who continued to shout. Members of the Popular Party, of whom Spain’s President Mariano Rajoy is a member, demanded that the protesters leave while a few leftists cheered them on. 
 
Femen’s leader in Spain, Lara Alcázar, was one of the three semi-nude protesters who was arrested and taken into police custody.  
 
Members of two leftist parties denounced the majority Popular Party for its “dramatic” austerity measures. Leftist José Luis Centella denounced the arrest of the denuded protesters saying, “Protests should not be criminalized so long as they are peaceful and harm no one, as in this case.”

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