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Vox campaign: freedom of expression or a hate crime?

Updated: Jul 3, 2023

In the past week, Vox, an ultra-right party, hung a discriminatory billboard in the center of Madrid under the slogan “Decide what matters”.

Figure 1: Vox billboard (Sergio Perez Efe-2023)

"The canvas of hate, discrimination, and shame is an attack on our rights and our model of coexistence.” was the message of our government against the billboard after they forced the party to withdraw the poster last Tuesday, as it was considered a hate crime. On the billboard, we can see a hand throwing away ideas that have been pillars in the reconstruction and the fight for an equal Spain. Between the ideals that Vox has thrown in the trash, we find the feminist symbol, the 2030 agenda, and the LGTBQ+ community flag, among others.

During the campaign, the president of Vox, Santiago Abascal, addressed the topic of abortion, declaring that they pretend to abolish the current law. “Many women say that their bodies are theirs, and I don’t doubt it, but what is not theirs is what they have inside”, declared Abascal in an interview, supporting his arguments by considering abortion as “killing a human life”. In the interview, he also explained that if he had the power, he would make abortion of any kind illegal as a measure to protect “life”.

Vox does not only throw away the 2030 agenda but has also tried to mock it several times. Besides, they have proposed a new agenda as an alternative: Agenda España, an ultra-conservative project that aims to illegalize safe abortion and euthanasia, remove “illegal” immigrants, and close all mosques in Spain. In this agenda, the importance of the traditional family is highlighted, which, according to them, is being threatened by the left.

But Vox ideals are not just promises; they are already in Spain’s seven parliaments. Vox representatives have withdrawn the equality councillorships, replacing them with family councillorships, with the purpose of “protecting” natality and “human lives” by illegalizing abortion. These measures have not been applied yet, but if Vox makes it to the government, it won’t take long until such ideals become a reality for all Spaniards.

There are two right-wing political forces in Spain: Vox and PP. Vox is an ultra-conservative party that has grown exponentially since the elections of 2017 because of the discontent in society with the present political parties. On the other side, PP is a center-right party that has tried to hide its conservative ideals. Both parties have formed coalitions in 140 local governments around Spain, giving the power to ultra-right, antidemocratic, and discriminatory parties.

Now Vox is the third political force and will likely pact with PP to form a right-wing government. This coalition is a menace not only for reproductive rights but also a setback for equality in general. Vox has been reported for hate crimes several times, but what will they do if they reach the government?

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