Tuesday 6th September 2022 · Mike Smith
Source: XAD Carlos López and ACT Xàbia
Around fifty antitaurinas marched along the promenade in the port zone of Xàbia on Sunday evening to protest against the staging of the ‘Bous a la Mar’ event in Xàbia, responding to a call from several groups to demonstrate, including Dénia Animal Save, Dignidad Animal, Anima Naturalis, Plataforma Antitaurina, AACME and APAD.
Carrying banners to convey their messages, including calls for a referendum to determine the support for a fiesta without bulls, the protestors walked along Paseo Marina Española to gather at the entrance to the Port de Xàbia where the bulls event was being held. As a constant stream of people passed through them on the way to the arena, several individuals read out statements and whilst there was a modest police presence, the protest passed peacefully, although not without the odd verbal exchange between individuals on opposing sides.
For their part, the Asociación Cultural Taurina Xàbia (ACT Xàbia), which is responsible for organising all the bull events in the municipality, posted a brief message on their Facebook page with a photo of the packed arena at the same time that the protest was taking place just a few hundred metres away. It also called on the media to “give the news as it is and not as it suits you”, accusing them of failing to show the great atmosphere of the event over the past few days. It has been estimated that more than 2,000 people attended each session to experience the spectacle and enjoy the “world famous” Baret dels Bous, the proceeds of which help to fund the event each year.
At the time of writing, an online petition on change.org has gathered almost 6,900 signatures against the ‘Bous a la Mar’ in Xàbia, as some aficionados have pointed out, the author of the associated text has used some inaccuracies and misinformation to push their objective to garner support for the banning of the event.
Clearly there is great support on both sides of the coin, although if sheer numbers of people were to demonstrate which side has the more popular backing, it would be the ‘Bous a la Mar’ by a significant margin. For the moment at least.