On the occasion of World Refugee Day on 20 June, thousands of persons took to the streets in more than 50 places around the country to defend the rights of refugees and denounce EU asylum and migration policies. A few days earlier, on 14 June in Madrid, representatives of unions, civil society  and the cultural sphere had gathered in Madrid to call on the population to give a strong backing to the 20 June demonstrations.

At the front of the procession in Madrid, Fernández Toxo, General Secretary of CCOO and Pepe Álvarez, general secretary of UGT, carried a banner together with representatives of other organisations, refugees and migrants reading « SOS refugees. Refuge for rights ».

« We need to stop this drama that is transforming the Mediterranean Sea in a mass grave, in which not only are sinking people but also the values of a democratic and right-based Europe », said Toxo in his inaugural statement. He also denounced the recent EU-Turkey agreement and asked the spanish government to withdraw its support to it.

The cortege ended in Puerta del Sol where Amparo Climent, actress and film director, read a manifesto demanding changes to EU asylum and migration policies, putting refugees’ rights at the core of it and ensuring safe roads to Europe for people fleeing war and persecutions.