“Mass tourism” protestors pledge summer of new demonstrations
Campaigners fighting “mass tourism” in Mallorca and Ibiza have restarted their protests and pledged a summer of new action.
The young political group Arran, responsible for a number of incidents last year, has teamed up with the Socialist organisation Endavant OSAN to fight the rental of more than 95,000 apartments to tourists.
Protestors homed in on Mallorca’s planning offices to put up a huge banner “de-fending the right to housing” and say more demonstrations will follow.
The Balearic Government has asked local councils to draw up plans for “special zones” where new rules will govern which properties can be rented out or not. In some areas, there will be a total ban, in others new licences may be allowed.
The two campaigning groups want these plans to stop immediately and a ban placed on all future tourist rentals. They also want what they describe as a “a study on the real impact of tourist rentals.”
Locals say they are being priced out of the housing market because people with homes to rent after letting them out for higher prices to holidaymakers instead.
The two groups also believe Mallorca and Ibiza continue to suffer from “mass tourism” although they stress they are not anti-tourism, just “saturated tourism”.
They have not specified what sort of actions will be carried out but last summer’s protests included storming a restaurant on Palma marina, throwing confetti at shocked diners and letting off pink flares near luxury yachts.
Endavant Mallorca says on its Twitter site: “More than 95,000 tourist apartments. Stop the tourism rentals. We defend the right to housing! Let’s conquer the future!”
Both groups have pledged to “relaunch the fight against mass tourism and the limitation of the tourism industry, which was carried out intensively during the past summer and for all the movements and groups critical of tourism.” They say tourist rentals will be their main focus.
Twelve members of Arran are currently facing court action over the Palma marina attack but have denied any malicious behaviour, saying there was no harm and no violence. A court is currently decided whether the prosecutions should go ahead.
Last summer, demon-strations against mass tourism in both the Balearics and the Spanish mainland included slashing the tyres of tourist bikes, putting superglue in the locks of tourist establishments and daubing grafitti. Tourist coaches were also pelted by eggs and “Tourists go home!” banners put up.
Arran also admitted res-ponsibility for holding up four coaches outside FC Barce-lona’s famous Nou Camp stadium.
Masked protestors daubed the words ‘El Turisme Mata Els Barris’ in Catalan across the windscreen of the bus, which in English translates as ‘Tourism Kills Neighbour-hoods.’
A violent mob of 30 people wearing fluorescent wigs and bright clothing also stormed a Barcelona hotel to protest about “over-crowded” tourism.