Internet platform for studying Xenophobia, Radicalism and Problems of Intercultural communication.

Radical Right-Wing Political Parties and Groups

Radical Right-Wing Political Parties and Groups

The Law on Political Parties (Organic Law 6/2002) declares illegal any political party that persistently promotes, justifies the exclusivity or persecution of people based on their ideology, religion or belief, nationality, race, gender or sexual orientation (Article 9.2.b) and provides for the prosecution and closure of such organizations under certain conditions (Article 102.a).

In general, up until 2018, radical nationalist groups and parties did not receive significant social support, were insufficiently structured, and did not play a catalyst role in mainstream politics. The most they could count on was seats in local legislatures. This was the case, for example, of Plataforma per Catalunya, an openly xenophobic party based in Catalonia, which managed to win 67 seats in 40 local councils in Catalonia in 2011. In the following elections, however, its success declined considerably, as they won only 8 seats in 2015. The case of Vox should also be mentioned, as it won 24 seats in 13 local councils in the same year. This ended in 2018 with the entry of Vox in the regional parliament of Andalusia in December 2018 and in the national parliament (Congreso de los Diputados) in April and November 2019. In doing so, the far-right has become the third political force in Spain, demonstrating a tremendous ability to attract media attention, set the agenda and frame the public debate.

The Vox Party was founded in 2013 after the split of the Conservative Popular Party. Its ideology can be defined mainly as nativist, nationalist, and economically neoliberal. One of the characteristics of Vox is that it uses social media with great ease and flexibility and uses it to communicate its ideology, which is still unfolding, directly with its followers. This is key to understanding their success, as this social media presence has allowed them to easily bring up polarizing topics that attract media attention.

Another small far-right party, España 2000, retains some seats on local councils in the Madrid area, but it has a limited reach and appears to be in decline. There are other small neo-fascist or far-right parties without representation in Spain, such as Democracia Nacional, Falang Spain, Falang Authentica, Alternative Español, or Democracia y Popular Liberación. In recent years, neo-fascist social movements like Plataforma Per Catalunya (for the integration of Vox) and Movimiento Social Republicano have ended their existence for one reason or another.

In recent years, the most prominent neo-fascist organization is Hogar Social Madrid, inspired by the Italian neo-fascist organization Casa Pound. In 2016, they organized a demonstration against immigration in Madrid, in which about 1,000 people participated. Recently, they seem to be losing supporters, and they have been replaced by another organization called Bastion Frontal. There are many other local neo-fascist groups throughout Spain, such as Iberia Cruor, Malaga 1487, or Acción Social. All of these organizations work mostly locally, in the neighborhood, and focus on social issues to attract support. For example, many of them engage in social activities, such as distributing food to white Spanish families in need, following the example of the infamous Greek neo-Nazi Golden Dawn party. In the coming years, it is worth noting that many of them are networking and coordinating their organizations. In July 2020, the online platform Hacer Nación was launched, uniting many of these organizations, as an alternative to the neoliberalism of Vox. In July 2020, the online platform Hacer Nación was launched.

While the public displays of right-wing radical groups in Spain are not commonplace, the Catalan conflict and the related rise of Vox, which was the first to actively oppose Catalan separatism, seems to have given them weight. Between 2018 and 2020 there have been several public appearances at different times. In Barcelona, there were some clashes between pro-independence supporters and far-right groups that had to be disbanded by the police during the October 2019 riots following the court decision against the leaders of the Catalan independence movement. One young man was brutally beaten by supporters of the far-right.

In the course of 2018 and 2019, several protests were also organized by radical movements and parties (notably the same Vox) against the exhumation of the dictator Franco, whose remains were removed from the mausoleum, more than 40 years after his death and the end of the dictatorship. Hundreds of people gathered there to protest in 2018, when the decision was made by the Spanish government, and far-right sympathizers also gathered at the cemetery on the day the body was removed in October 2019 (including Antonio Tejero, who instigated the failed coup in 1981). During these gatherings it was commonplace to glorify the Franco regime.

A traditional theme for the far-right is the fight against immigration from Asia and Africa. In October 2020, about a thousand people demonstrated against unaccompanied migrant children who lived next door to San Blas in Madrid in a shelter. During the demonstration, Nazi salutes were commonplace, with demonstrators bannering several neo-Nazi groups.

After the start of the coronavirus pandemic, the main activity of right-wing radicals was shifted to the online space. In addition, in October 2020, demonstrations against the Spanish government and restrictions imposed in connection with COVID-19, which ended in riots in several cities, were apparently also organized and instigated by far-right groups.

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