Huge protest hits another Spanish seaside city as 15k locals demand ‘no more tourists’

Tyler Mitchell By Tyler Mitchell Jun30,2024

More than 15,000 anti-tourism protesters took to the streets of the popular Spanish seaside city of Malaga amid claims they are being “overrun” by visitors and feeling like “strangers in our own city”.

Marchers held banners that read: “We feel strangers in our own city” and “Malaga is for the people of Malaga, tourism forces us out”.

Other placards had messages saying: “One more tourist is one less local resident,” and: “Padlocks out of our neighbourhoods,” in reference to the coded key-holders outside tourist apartment blocks.

The demonstration was organised by the Sindicato de Inquilinas e Inquilinos de Malaga – Malaga Tenants’ Union – and backed by nearly 50 other organisations including Greenpeace and Oxfam. They marched under the slogan: “Malaga para vivir, no para sobrevivir”, which translates to “Malaga to live in, not survive in”.

Soon after the protest started in the central Plaza de la Merced, a Right-wing group tried to hijack it, singing: “Council housing for nationals.” However, this was met with calls of “facists out of our neighbourhoods” and they soon disbanded.

The crowds walked slowly through Malaga town centre, ending in Constitution Square with the reading of a manifesto where protest organisers said: “We’re not going to allow ourselves to be expelled from our own city. We’re staying put.

“We’re not going to allow Malaga to become a theme park emptied of local residents. We’re not going to allow shops to be replaced by franchises, pavements with terraces and rents with eviction letters.”

Earlier this year, stickers were plastered to the front of tourist apartment blocks in the city, with messages including: “F*** off from here.” Others alluded to the same problems expressed by other Spanish tourist spots including Tenerife about the lack of affordable accommodation as a result of mass tourism: “This used to be my house.”

A Malaga bar owner, known as Dani Drunko, was recently told he had to leave his home of 10 years so it could be used by tourists staying on short-term lets, according to the MailOnline.

He is said to have organised a social media campaign proposing customers come up with alternatives revolving around the AT – “Apartamento Turistic” – signs, a play on words game, on the front of holiday apartment blocks. He went on to admit that things had got a “bit out of hand”.

Santiago Perez, 67, who attended Saturday’s march, told local press: “I’m not against tourism but I want it to be regulated so we have quality tourism and not the drunken type of tourism the holiday rentals attract.”

Another mass-tourism protest is due to go ahead in the Majorcan capital of Palma on July 21.

Earlier this month, a large crowd of campaigners sought to reclaim the popular beach of Cal des Moro on the island, made famous by social media. The crowd reached more than 300 people by 10am, coinciding with the arrival of the first day-trippers. They aimed to take up the entirety of the nearly 30-metre beach with their beach towels.

They also held a huge banner across the cove which read: “Ocupem Les Nostres Platges” – “Let’s Occupy our beaches”.

A large protest was also held on April 25, attended by 25,000 people according to organisers but government officials put the figure at around 10,000. Smaller protests have taken place in Ibiza and Menorca over the last few months.

A leading anti-tourist protester that he will never stop Majorca’s war on British tourists, revealed the MailOnline. Pere Joan, 25, a cultural heritage masters student in Palma and one of the chief protesters at “Less Tourism, More Life”, led thousands through the streets last month.

“[Locals] want to relax, to rest in their houses at night. But in [Magaluf] they can’t sleep and some of them move homes [because of] this problem. Some neighbourhoods started to complain,” he told Mail Online.

“This kind of tourist in Magaluf and Arenal… it’s a bad image of Mallorca. Everyone only wants to be in the place to have sex or drink alcohol or do things that in their own countries they can’t do.

“It’s not safe to go on the streets. You can’t find peace,” he continued.

After the protests, the Balearic Islands Government toughened drinking rules to fine people up to £1,350 for drinking in the street, a penalty that could be increased to £2,500 for a serious offence. It also forced shops to stop selling alcohol past 8.30pm.

Tyler Mitchell

By Tyler Mitchell

Tyler is a renowned journalist with years of experience covering a wide range of topics including politics, entertainment, and technology. His insightful analysis and compelling storytelling have made him a trusted source for breaking news and expert commentary.

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