About 10,000 lefutringers turned a festival to mark the birth of Spanish poet, Foderico Garcia Lorca, into a full-scale political rally in the village of Fuentes Vaqueres, Sapin, on Saturday (5 June).
GV Demonstrators in village square carrying portraits of Spanish peet Garaia Lorca (4 shots)
SV Actress reciting one of Lorca's poems
GV Crowd clapping
SV Another actress reading another poem
SV People clapping
LV Police mingling with crowd
SV & GV Crowd shouting and waving portraits of Garcial Lorca (2 shots)
Script is copyright Reuters Limited. All rights reserved
Background: About 10,000 lefutringers turned a festival to mark the birth of Spanish poet, Foderico Garcia Lorca, into a full-scale political rally in the village of Fuentes Vaqueres, Sapin, on Saturday (5 June).
The poet was born in the village 78 years ago and was executed by pro-Franco forces in the first month of the Spanish Civil war in 1936. His apolitical verse and plays relied heavily on Andalucian flamenco songs and made him internationally known in the 1930s.
At Saturday's festival the crowd carried banners saying "socialism and freedom now" chanted "amnesty, liberty". They constituently interrupted roadings of Lorca's works with chants of "a people united shall never be defeated".
The festival was organised by a group of poets form nearby Granada with the backing of leftwing Spanish opposition parties and was authorised by the government under legislation passed last month relaxing tight controls on political meetings.
But the civil governor of Granada stepped in at the last minute to limit the gathering to 30 minutes.
Heavily armed police stood guard around the village square during the festival. At one point para-military guards baton charged a group of several hundred, who left the village shouting "down with King Juan Carlos".
In between poetry readings one of the poet's few living relatives, 44-year-old nephew Manolo Garcia Lorca, called on King Juan Carlos' government to open an enquiry into his uncle's death.
Afterwards Reuters quoted a spokesman for the Spanish Socialist Workers Party (PSOE) as saying "This is the first major opposition rally in souther Spain. It won't be the last."