On 15th September about 200 people demonstrated in Tordesillas in order to impede the Torneo del Toro de la Vega in 2014. The protests resulted in numerous aggressions caused by the residents of the town and supporter of the Torneo, causing several wounded. The writer and journalist Ruth Toledano was one of them.
The disproportionate aggressiveness and hostility shown this year against the activists and journalists has been product probably of two reasons. First, the stand taken by a great number of media and cultural celebrities against this bloody celebration and second, the announcement by André Viard, substituting Leo Harlem (who refused to participate while saying that he was “completely against animal cruelty”) that stirred the mood of the population of Tordesillas with references to combats occurred in Ancient Persia, Egypt or Mesopotamia and thus claiming that this Torneo was included as World Heritage, where “the bull is killed, yes, but in an ethical and manly way”.
Short before 11 a.m., when the Torneo should have started with the release of the 596-kilograms bull “Elegido”, almost 100 activists invaded the itinerary screaming “We’ve come to impede a murder” and “Elegido is not alone”, creating a human chain in order to avoid the release of the bull and that in the end could just delay it a bit more than 30 minutes, exactly the time that the police needed to evict in the middle of insults and attempts of aggression.
Already in the middle of the Torneo numerous confrontations took place which resulted in several wounded.
121 Civil Guards, 30.000 spectators and about 200 activists.
Despite these numbers all wounded hit by a stone, kicked or punched were activists, just as all the arrested.
In an article of Natalia Junquera published in El País, Gerardo Abril, 58, president of the celebration, tried to explain with education his reasons. “I’m a great-grandson, grandson, son and father of a lancer. This is a feeling and feelings are as hard to explain as to understand”. His town, he says, is the “victim of a lynching by fundamentalists”.
– And what about the bull? Isn’t that lynching?
– No. That is a ritual of people who loves nature. We would like [the death] to be at the first [spear], but [bulls] have a tough skin.”
At 12:30 “Elegido” dropped dead speared through by spears with a 40-centimeters blade and 2-meters handle.