TEHRAN, Young Journalists Club (YJC) - The demonstrators — some 500,000 by police estimates — participated in the march on Saturday to show unity in the face of car rampages in Barcelona and Cambrils that left 14 people dead and more than a hundred others injured last week.
Emergency workers, police officers, firefighters, and city officials were at the front of the procession, aiming to send the message that peace would prevail over terror and that the city was tolerant of diversity.
The marchers carried signs and banners that read, “No to Islamophobia,” “The best response: Peace,” and “I’m not afraid.”
“We have to say we are not afraid, but you obviously feel it can happen to you at any time and that is scary. But fear cannot beat us and we cannot stand still. We have to show that we keep living, that is what we have to do,” a demonstrator said.
Spain’s King Felipe VI, Prime Minister Mariano Rajoy, and representatives of all major Spanish political parties also joined the Saturday march.
Smaller rallies were held in cities across Spain, including Madrid, Valencia, Vigo, and Ripoll.
A van rammed into a multitude of people in the center of Barcelona on August 17, killing at least 13 and injuring more than 120 others. The Moroccan driver, Younes Abouyaaqoub, fled the scene after the attack but was later declared to have been shot dead by police.
A day later, in the seaside resort of Cambrils, 100 kilometers away from Barcelona, five terrorists drove a car into pedestrians before being fatally shot by security forces. One of the pedestrians died and six others sustained injuries in the attack.
Both terror attacks, considered the deadliest in Spain in more than a decade, were later claimed by the Takfiri Daesh terrorist group.