Video Of Protests In Spain Over COVID-19 Restrictions Peddled As France

The video is from Barcelona, Spain where riots occurred against new restrictions to curb the spread of COVID-19

A video from Barcelona of people protesting against restrictions to control rising case of COVID-19 in the country, is being shared with a false claim that it shows police action against Muslim protesters in France.

The video is being shared on Facebook and Twitter at a time when France is seeing widespread violence with protests against the beheading of a school teacher by an Islamic extremist. The teacher was allegedly beheaded for shpwing cartoon of Prophet Mohammed in a classroom discussion about free speech. The attac was termed an Islamic terror attack by President Emmanuel Macron which caused further anger among Muslims in the country.

The viral video is being shared with a caption, "Police action in France" with some captions saying, "Peaceful protest by peaceful peoples in France"


We ran a search for the keyframes in the video and found that the same video on a Dutch video blogging site called Dumpert with the description claiming the video was from Barcelona.

We also found the video on Reddit where several captions pointed out that the video was from Barcelona.

Taking that as a cue we ran a search for Spanish keywords about violent protests against police and riots in Barcelona and found tweets from October 31, 2020 showing the same visuals as in the video from a lower angle.

According to one tweet on October 30 by a local journalist Elise Gazengel, the incident in the video happened at Via Laietana, Barcelona

We then looked for news articles about the incident and found a Reuters story from October 31 which said that residents of Barcelona protested against newly announced restrcitions to curb the spread the rising spread of COVID-19. The article also quoted a spokesperson for Mossos d'Escuadra, the police force of Catalonia where Barcelona is located confirming the rioting. The Reuters story quoted the spokesperson as saying, "Police repelled the protesters with their batons but did not charge"

We further geolocated the location -- Via Laietana in Barcelona and found similaries in the building layouts and the streetsigns.

We also found that the balcony design in the building where the viral video was shot from matches the design of the balconies visible in the Google street images.

BOOM has previously debunked misinformation after the killing of the French teacher in Paris as unrelated videos and images have been shared with false claims.

Updated On: 2020-11-13T10:19:57+05:30
Claim :   Video Showing police action against Muslims in France
Claimed By :  Social Media posts
Fact Check :  False
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