About a hundred anti-mask protesters gathered together this Sunday, August 16, by the sculpture of Alfredo Kraus, on the capital’s Las Canteras beach, demonstrating against what they see as the imposition of the mandatory use of masks, along with a range of other complaints and theories about the latest decisions by the governments of the Canary Islands and Spain to further restrict activities that are thought to favour the increasing numbers of coronavirus cases being detected daily across the country, such as obligations to socially distance and avoid crowds and nightclubs.
Shouting ‘Freedom’ and ‘We want to breathe’ among other slogans, protesters made as much noise as they could to express their anger at what they see as over-reactions and draconian measures not just from regional and national government, but from governments across the world, who many of them claimed were simply promoting the manufacture of vaccines. The overwhelming fear among those present was the ushering in of a new world order on the premise of a virus they believe to be less dangerous than the flu.
What was evident yesterday was the near total lack of support from Las Palmas for the ideas behind the protest, centered around conspiracy theories and anti-establishment rhetoric. There did not appear to be any epidemiological researchers, doctors or nurses present. Though National Police did intervene, checking identities and collecting evidence after some incidents were reported.
Yesterday’s anti-mask protest was in support of a larger manifestation in Madrid, which drew 2,500 protesters according to some estimates. The hashtag #Subnormales began trending throughout Spain as other members of the population began to express their own anger at the gatherings, which did not respect any of the guidelines set out by the regional parliaments and the government of Spain, based on epidemiological advice.
Las Palmas de Gran Canaria is currently the epicenter of new coronavirus cases in the Canary Islands, with 503 confirmed infected, from yesterday’s data, and a total of 1,051 active cases throughout the Archipelago.