More than 25,000 people attended Madrid's first communist rally since its legalisation last Easter. The?
More than 25,000 people attended Madrid's first communist rally since its legalisation last Easter. The rally was held in a bull ring on Saturday (7 May) in one of the city's industrial suburbs.
SYNOPSIS: The stadium was packed with supporters, and more than 10,000 people were locked out. Spain's communist party was founded in 1920, and came to power with the left-wing Popular Front in the 1936 election, but was outlawed after the Civil war.
The rally took place just one week after last Sunday's violent May Day celebrations in which 50 people were reported detained and some 20 injured. Police used rubber bullets, tear gas, bombs and truncheons to disperse the crowds.
Marcelino Camacho, a senior executive of the Communist party and leader of the Worker's Trade Commission Union, was the main speaker of the day. During his speech Mr Camacho said "We are celebrating the fact for the first time we can speak freely today and not behind the bars of the prison in this same suburb." Mr Camacho spent 14 years in prison.
Mr Camacho received an enthusiastic response, with supporters cheering and applauding throughout the rally. Crowds chanted repeatedly, "Spain will one day be socialist". The Communist Party claims now to have over 150,000 members, and will be campaigning fervently in next June's general elections. The Socialist, Communist and leftist trade unions were also given legal status last week.