Topless feminist protesters stormed a rally commemorating the 43rd anniversary of General Francisco Franco’s death.
Supporters of the military dictator, including members of the far-right group Falange, gathered in Madrid on Sunday, ahead of the anniversary of his death.
The rally is held annually on the Sunday falling closest to November 20, the date Franco died in 1975. The general ruled Spain for 36 years after leading a military uprising that started the Spanish Civil War.
A large crowd of people at their rally in the city’s Plaza de Oriente waved out-of-date Spanish flags dating back to General Franco’s decades of authoritarian rule. Others were seen performing fascist salutes.
But three members of the feminist group Femen ran into the gathering topless with ‘legal fascism, national shame’ painted on their torsos.
Supporters rise their right arm to salute the fascist anthem to remember former Spanish dictator Francisco Franco in Madrid
A woman performs a fascist salute at a rally that is held annually on the Sunday falling closest to November 20, the date Franco died in 1975
A member of feminist movement Femen is detained by Spanish police after a protest against a far-right rally in Madrid, Spain
Spanish police intervened to keep trouble from erupting at the rally.
Officers on horseback and on foot quickly moved to keep an angry crowd of about 200 away from the three protesters.
Several protesters were seen being restrained by Spanish police on Sunday.
Members of the feminist activist group, which is based in Paris, frequently carries out shock protests against sexism, racism, homophobia and other social and political issues.
They have protested bare-breasted and painted with slogans in front of President Donald Trump, Pope Francis and at comedian Bill Cosby’s sexual assault trial.
Last week, one the group’s topless protesters ran towards the motorcade carrying Trump along the Champs Elysees in Paris ahead of a ceremony to mark the Armistice that ended World War One. She was apprehended by French police.
Three members of the feminist group Femen ran into the gathering topless with ‘legal fascism, national shame’ painted on their torsos
Officers on horseback and on foot quickly moved to keep an angry crowd of about 200 away from the three protesters
Their target this time was a rally in support of General Franco, who ruled Spain from the end of the Spanish Civil War in 1939 until his death in 1975.
His fascist regime was supported by Nazi Germany and Mussolini in Italy.
He was buried in the Valley of the Fallen, a mausoleum he ordered built around 30 miles northwest of Madrid.
Spain’s Socialist-led government is planning to exhume Franco’s remains from an elaborate mausoleum outside Madrid – a decision that has divided Spanish society.
The decision has infuriated Spaniards nostalgic for the dictatorship and several of General Franco’s descendants have expressed opposition to the exhumation.
Members of the feminist activist group, which is based in Paris, frequently carries out shock protests against sexism, racism, homophobia and other social and political issues
Far-right group Falange members perform the fascist salute during a demonstration marking the anniversary of the death of Spanish dictator Francisco Franco in Madrid
The Francisco Franco Foundation, a not-for-profit organisation that promotes the memory of the former dictator, has said his remains should be given a Christian burial at the Almudena Roman Catholic Cathedral in central Madrid.
But the families of the tens of thousands of his opponents who were killed or imprisoned during his near four-decade rule oppose his burial at such an emblematic site.
The government of Prime Minister Pedro Sanchez hopes the exhumation will help settle grievances from the period of his rule that still cast a shadow over the country. But it is still not known where his remains will be transferred to.
As many as 500,000 combatants and civilians died in the Spanish civil war.
Members of the far-right group Falange perform the fascist salute during a demonstration in Madrid on Sunday