Protesters in Barcelona have sprayed visitors with water as part of a demonstration against mass tourism.

Demonstrators marching through areas popular with tourists on Saturday chanted “tourists go home” and squirted them with water pistols, while others carried signs with slogans including “Barcelona is not for sale.”

Thousands of protesters took to the streets of the city in the latest demonstration against mass tourism in Spain, which has seen similar actions in the Canary Islands and Mallorca recently, decrying the impact on living costs and quality of life for local people.

The demonstration was organised by a group of more than 100 local organizations, led by the Assemblea de Barris pel Decreixement Turístic (Neighborhood Assembly for Tourism Degrowth).

57 points

"…profits from the tourism industry are unfairly distributed and increase social inequality. "

It sounds like the real problem isn’t the actual tourists.

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10 points

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2 points

Who should I blame today for our problems, tourists or immigrants?

Choose one (and please ignore the capitalist elite actually causing these problems)

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83 points

It seems more effective to get short term rentals banned in their city by organizing and speaking to their local city council.

Squirting unsuspecting visitors with water guns seems ineffective and unlikely to achieve any results.

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20 points

Yup.

Like many cities around the world, AirBNB (and similar) redirecting housing into short term rentals has had a massive negative impact on long term housing for local residents.

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4 points

Well, that and the constant crackdown governments do on new construction. AirBNB takes housing out of the supply and over-strict zoning prevents new housing from coming in.

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2 points

ABnB is the worst. Once it moved away from “renting a room in an occupied house” to “become a landlord with less steps and no oversight!” it became a blight.

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3 points

You mean the zoning laws, that demand houses to be built for people living in them instead of tourist short term rentals? Yeah bad bad zoning laws.

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46 points

It got them enough attention to make it to the CNN…

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0 points

You make a point, but I still question if a CNN article will achieve the desired results. People ought to discuss with their local representatives to achieve things.

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20 points
*

Their local representative probably doesn’t give a shit, but now that it’s making international news and making them look bad they might act.

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0 points

Now that I know about this in Colorado, surely it will get better

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23 points

The town hall intends to ban short term rentals in a few years. Definitely far too slow, but it has gotten to the point that even politicians who want to see their city’s coffers grow fat admit that it’s an economic activity that does more harm than good.

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19 points

I love it. If they protest peacefully like this, it’s innefective. If they are violent, or destructive it’s innefective. Do you really think if talking with politicians worked we would be in this situation? They are trying to get more attention to the problem and this worked perfectly.

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17 points
*

I’m noticing this tactic a lot of people shitting on activism by handwringing about “Oh I’m totally one of you and I totally agree with your goals but your tactics are just going too far!”

MLK decried this exact thing in his Letter from a Birmingham Jail:

“…that the Negro’s great stumbling block in his stride toward freedom is not the White Citizen’s Councilor or the Ku Klux Klanner, but the white moderate, who is more devoted to ‘order’ than to justice; who prefers a negative peace which is the absence of tension to a positive peace which is the presence of justice; who constantly says: ‘I agree with you in the goal you seek, but I cannot agree with your methods of direct action’; who paternalistically believes he can set the timetable for another man’s freedom; who lives by a mythical concept of time and who constantly advises the Negro to wait for a ‘more convenient season.’ ”

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-3 points

Attacking tourists is not exactly a solution and will just fuck their economy up even more.

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4 points

Attacking tourists

It’s water

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4 points

It’s totally harmless and works to grab the media attention.

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154 points

I fucking guarantee every single one of the locals out there spraying people and yelling at tourists has been a tourist at some point in their life. Even if it was for a day trip to Madrid or Valencia or Bilbao, they were tourists who didn’t deserve to be attacked just for seeing some place new. They are just hateful hypocrites who like annoying people for fun.

They have a legitimate concern with housing prices and how the government has allowed (until recently) Airbnb to drive up their housing costs. But the tourists aren’t the problem. And if they want to get rid of all tourists, let them A) find out how much their economy relies on tourism, and B) never be allowed to leave their city again.

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50 points

They’ve done a good job of broadcasting that tourism is a problem there. I’ll respect that next time I make travel plans. Assuming others think like me, then the protest has been effective.

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7 points

yeah I’ll respect that by not going to Barcelona

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1 point

That’s what they would prefer and the point of their protests. Sarcasm doesn’t really fit here in this context.

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1 point

Never been to Barcelona and never wanted to go even though people kept telling me it’s beautiful (sounded overhyped to me).

Now I want to go there less, and I’m happy about that :D

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2 points

Barcelona is overrated anyway, IMO. There are many better cities/towns in Spain.

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19 points

Yup. Sucks to be those tourists for sure but it’s not like they were in danger.

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20 points

Just a shitty feeling. You come to appreciate the culture, food, the views, you name it; to just be a visitor, a guest, and you get yelled at to go home.

Fucking yell at your government for allowing Airbnb to fester, instead of randos who support local businesses…

(not directed at you, just venting)

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3 points

My understanding is the people understand tourism funds things, but that they dont appreciate the divided treatment, such as the water restrictions tourists do not have to abide by.

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1 point

People need to realize that tourism is almost like a favour to a country. You literally generate value in your home and go pour it into another economy.

Tourism has always been mutually beneficial and any government can and has the right to reduce it if they really really want to, they don’t though cause they like the money.

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9 points

There’s a lot of nuance there with very vocal people due to recent history. It also has a lot to do with awareness of the major water restrictions residents are under but tourists are not (thus the water pistols). If they make news scaring off tourists, it forces the government to reconsider the balance they’ve put on tourist funding vs local economy.

I’m not saying I like what’s happening or not, just saying there is a lot to unpack when you don’t live there.

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2 points

It’s also quite likely the majority was not born in Barcelona

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12 points

I don’t think that’s relevant at all. Residents of Barcelona should still not be pushed out by BnBs.

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13 points

Do you have a source for that?

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1 point

It’s a big city, I think it’s pretty common that people move there from all over the country for work/studies.

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7 points

Lots of butthurt entitlement ITT.

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41 points

Squirting people with water in the middle of summer is a punishment? Aim it right at my face, protesters.

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5 points

Especially if it’s as been as hot in Barcelona as it’s been here in North America. It’s been ridiculous.

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