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  • Activists estimated an upwards of 500,000 people that showed up in solidarity.

    Activists estimated an upwards of 500,000 people that showed up in solidarity. | Photo: Twitter / @FonsCatala

Spain has only accepted 1,100 of the 17,000 it promised to accept in two years. It has half a year to accept the remaining 16,000.

Up to half a million people hit the streets in Barcelona to demand their government accept more refugees, just after Spain accepted about 1,000 of the 17,000 it had promised.

Migrants Protest in Barcelona Ahead of General Elections

"It is very important that in a Europe of uncertainty where xenophobia is on the rise for Barcelona to be a capital of hope," said Barcelona mayor Ada Colau, who took part. 

Colau came to office as an organizer with an anti-eviction campaign, an offshoot of the Indignados movement that also produced the organizer of the march, Cosa Nostra Casa Vostra.

Police counted around 160,000 protesters, but estimates from activists were much higher. The slogan, “We Want to Welcome Them” rang in the streets as representatives from various social groups. Various made reference to the Europe-wide Refugees Welcome movement and to anti-war struggles.

Spain had pledged to accept 17,337 refugees in the next two years, but as of Thursday, it has only accepted 1,100 in a year and a half.

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