Letter from Spain

After the Bombings

I watched the television coverage of the terrorist bombings in Madrid from a hotel room in Gibraltar. My wife and I were vacationing in Spain, and Gibraltar was the second stop on our itinerary. It was the only time during our trip that we were able to watch the news in English. But the language didn’t matter. The pictures were enough.

The next day we were in Seville, one of many cities scheduled to hold rallies against terrorism. We decided to go. A man in a bar across the street from our apartment told us the rally was near the train station. So we boarded a bus at Plaza Nueva, not far from Seville’s cathedral, hoping it would take us there. It was raining, and most businesses had closed early to allow people to attend the rally. The bus was jammed. A young mother stood next to us, her two children writing their names on the fogged-up windows. A few minutes later, when the woman and her children were preparing to exit, we asked her if this was the right stop. She shrugged her shoulders. Like us, she was just following the crowd.

Getting off the bus, we followed the sea of umbrellas, which eventually brought us to a street flooded with people, slowly moving forward. Could this be it? There were no speakers and only a few banners. A woman wore a button that said “Todos contra la violencia,” but other than that, signs were sparse. TV cameras scanned the crowd from windows above us. It was a diverse group...

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About the Author

Maurice Timothy Reidy is a former associate editor of Commonweal.