The right-wing local government of Madrid has been accused of censoring campaigns put up in the city for Pride.
With Pride celebrations kicking off on Saturday (6 July), city hall has erected banners on street lamps. The campaign was originally promised by the left-wing former government under Manuela Carmena.
These signs originally paid tribute to older people within the LGBTI community who fought against the oppressive dictatorship of Franco. These honored ‘those who remember the repression’, ‘who stayed strong’, ‘who stood up for our rights’, ‘who were there when we weren’t’ and ‘those who truly knew what the stakes were’.
However, none of those posters are on display. The only one put up is ‘Neustro mayor orgullo’, which means ‘our greatest pride’.
Spokesperson for Mas Madrid, the left-wing party of the former mayor, accused the new local government – the Popular Party (PP) – of censorship.
Rita Maestre wrote on Twitter: ‘The PP-Cuidadanos-Vox government has banned from the banners the messages that referred to the struggle of LGBTI activists.
El gobierno PP-Ciudadanos-Vox ha censurado de las banderolas los mensajes que hacían referencia a la lucha de los activistas LGTBI.
En la imagen 1, la campaña prevista. En la imagen 2, la campaña censurada.
A una semana del Orgullo. RT, ¡que se sepa! #NuestroMayorOrgullo pic.twitter.com/pVb48zf90F
— Rita Maestre (@Rita_Maestre) June 24, 2019
‘In image 1, the planned campaign. In image 2, the campaign censored. A week away from Pride.’
In a press statement released to El Pais, Madrid City Hall said the campaign ‘has not been substantially modified’. They claim the changes have been made to ‘unify the message’ on the lamps.
Amnesty International’s Spanish branch are responding against censorship with an act of their own. They are encouraging people to submit their names to be included on a 20m by 7m pride flag in ‘defense of the rights of LGBTI people’.
— Amnistía Internacional España (@amnistiaespana) June 25, 2019
They said: ‘Our message is clear: Pride is not censored and the rights of LGBTI people can not go back.’
The Popular Party regained control of Madrid City Hall by making a deal with Ciudadanos (Citizens) and the far-right Vox. This is despite Carmena winning the most votes of any other individual party.
Madrid’s new mayor is José Luis Martínez-Almeida.