The Protests in Europe

Nora Owens
Major: Spanish and Occupational Therapy
Non-WMU, AIFS: Granada, Spain

All across Europe there have been protests either protesting local government or the European government. I was in Paris a few weeks ago and the protests were out of control. They were protesting the new taxes on petroleum and other taxes. All of the protestors had yellow jackets on and were protesting on Champ Elysees, which is a main area for tourists. We avoided that area because the protests had turned into riots and they were throwing glass and bricks and starting fires. I was very lucky to not get caught in the protests because we monitored them on social media. The protestors even went to the Arc de Triomphe and were putting graffiti all over it. While walking downtown near Notre Dame, there were policemen on each bridge over the Seine River which was very intimidating. However, I am very lucky to have not gotten caught in the protests.

paris protest
Image: Protest in Paris near Arc de Triomphe

Closer to home in Spain, following the Andalucian elections, there were large protests in every city in the province of Andalucia. My city Granada, had some large protests the day after the elections. I could see the protest from the balcony of my apartment. Many people were marching down the main street, Calle Recogidas. It was insane to see and they were very loud as well. The reason for these protests is because the party that won the elections, Vox, is a far right group. For 35 years, a socialist party PSOE, had been in power. PSOE technically won the election, but Vox won 12 seats in the Andalusian parliament. People are outraged because a far right party like Vox has gained popularity. The party has some Francoist ideals.

granada protest
Image: Protest in Granada, Spain

Vox, is just one example of far right political parties in Europe. Since being here and taking a class about government in the European Union and Spain, I now see that Europe is not as well off as I thought they were. It seems that almost every country in Europe has far right groups that are eurosceptics, anti-Islam, anti-immigration and xenophobic. However, we have groups like that in the United States too. The world right now is at a very crucial point in terms of government. The United States, many countries in the European Union and all around the world are unhappy with their government. At least in the US and in Europe, people are sick of high taxes and broken systems. It will be interesting to see the changes that come with the new year.

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