Activists protest against return of bullfights to Marbella ring

The protest concluded with a theatrical performance.
The protest concluded with a theatrical performance. / Josele-Lanza
  • The council will allow bullfighting again after a three-year absence

Animal rights demonstrators took to the streets last Saturday to protest against the decision by Marbella council to reintroduce bullfighting in the central bullring, on the edge of the old town, after a three-year absence.

Around 300 protesters from three different animal protection organisations marched down the streets of Marbella, from the bullring to Plaza del Mar, demanding that the council reverses the decision to invest one million euros in the restoration of the bullring, for it then to start hosting bullfighting again.

"We want the bullring to be used for cultural events, but not to torture animals," said spokesperson for Guerreros de la Paz, Agustín González, one of the organisers of the protest alongside Resistencia Animal and the Malaga Society for the Protection of Animals and Plants.

Bullfighting was banned in Marbella in 2016 under the left-wing coalition council, headed by the socialist PSOE. Now the two-party coalition headed by PP (Partido Popular) wants to reverse that decision.

Miguel Díaz and Victoria Morales from Izquierda Unida and Victoria Mendiola from Podemos participated in the demonstration, alongside representatives from animal rights organisations.

However, the protest did face some opposition. Representatives of the Vox party, who have made it clear that they defend bullfighting and hunting, were also present.

Carmen Manzano, president of the Malaga Society for the Protection of Animals and Plants, stressed that a party with just 400,000 votes in the recent Andalusian election cannot be allowed to impose its values on all Andalusians. "We will not back down," she said.

Manzano also stressed that Spain shouldn't continue to associate itself with bullfighting, when most of the country does not support it.

The demonstration ended with a theatrical performance in which some of the protesters, wearing just underwear, pretended to have been stabbed with banderillas (lances used in bullfighting) while others called for bullfighting to be made a criminal offence.