Hundreds of thousand march for more refugees in Barcelona

Under the slogan 'We Want To Welcome Them', marchers in Barcelona demanding their government accept more refugees.

The slogan “We Want to Welcome Them” rang in the streets as up to half a million people demonstrated in Barcelona on February 18 to demand their government accept more refugees. It came after Spain accepted just 1000 of the 17,000 it had promised.

"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's  mayor Ada Colau, who took part. 

Colau, from the left-wing Barcelona For All platform, came to office as an organiser with an anti-eviction campaign, an offshoot of the Indignados movement that also produced the group that organised the march, the pro-refugee Cosa Nostra Casa Vostra.

Police put attendence at about 160,000 protesters, but estimates from activists were much higher, with representatives from various social groups present. Although Spain had pledged to accept 17,337 refugees in the next two years, as of Bebruary 16, it has only accepted 1100 in a year-and-a-half.

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