Long story short, I was invited to speak at the ETF Donofrio conference. I had heard wonderful things about the event, and about 6 months ago, agreed to appear. It is put on by the same people who do the Inside ETFs dinner.
Having never been to Spain, I thought it might be nice to drag the missus along, swing thru Barcelona on our way, and spend some time otherwise checking out what Spain is up to these days post EU bailouts & Brexit vote.
We flew out Sunday, the day of the vote, and I hoped that was the last we would hear of it.
I was wrong.
There was a general strike Tuesday (guess we will have to catch the Picasso Museum and Gaudi Cathedral some other time). Pretty much all day long there were huge numbers of people everywhere — waving flags, cheering, chanting. It was all very peaceable, an enormous crew of mostly young protesters filling the streets. I would guess somewhere between 500,000 and a million people. We saw lots of families with young children in the crowd, it was not at all a harsh environment. There is some history to this movement.
The tight streets and byways of the old city echoed with chants and slogans. If you have ever watched how organized Europeans Soccer fans can be, well, this was that time 10.
The scary part is that you never know when a crowd will turn into an angry mob. We tried to skirt the throngs, but they were everywhere. At one point, we had to cross a street (to get to a restaurant naturally). We briefly were amongst the crew, and the energy was frighteningly electric.
I grabbed a few snaps; you can see them below