No, footage from outside a bar in Spain does not show a fight between locals and asylum seekers

By: Arron Williams
October 5 2023

Share Article: facebook logo twitter logo linkedin logo
No, footage from outside a bar in Spain does not show a fight between locals and asylum seekers

Source: Facebook


The Verdict False

The footage shows a fight that took place in Sitges, Spain on July 23. The fight took place between locals and bar security.

Claim ID df0e9cef


Footage of a bar brawl has recently been shared on Facebook with the claim that it depicts a fight in Barcelona between locals and asylum seekers. The post claims, “Spanish residents fight back against the escalating violent asylum seekers.”

Similar posts can be found on X (formerly Twitter), where the footage is shared alongside claims that it depicts violent refugees. One of these posts has over 700,000 views and 6000 likes. However, these X posts date back to July 2023.

In fact

The footage does not show a brawl or violence between local residents and refugees like the posts suggest. These claims are based on xenophobic rhetoric to frame migrants as violent and fit into broader anti-migrant narratives.

According to a press release published in August by the Mossos d'Esquadra, the Spanish police force in Catalonia, the incident took place in the town of Sitges, on July 23, at around 2 a.m. Twelve men were arrested between August 3 and August 7 for being involved in the incident and charged with public disorder, injury, and fighting. 

This is further supported by local news articles. El Periódico, a local Catalan newspaper, also states that the fight took place in Sitges’s leisure area on July 23, 2023. The same footage appeared on social media posts making claims about migrants and locals fighting. The article and press release makes no mention of migrants.

According to CCMA, a regional Spanish media outlet, the arrested men were residents of the Garraf area. As further stated by the police press release, the incident originated at the access door of a nightclub, and the fight took place between a group of people seeking entry and the club’s security. A second fight later broke out when police were mediating with the two involved groups; during the second fight, objects were thrown. 

The events did not take place in Barcelona and were not between locals and migrants. The incident shown was actually between a group of local men and nightclub security. 

Broader claims that migrants and asylum seekers are violent and destructive are common in anti-migrant rhetoric. Over the past few years, in right-wing and social media, a prevalent assertion is that migrants are “fighting-age males” or “military age young men.” This assertion relies on negative assumptions about migrants. However, that most migrants and refugees are young men does not mean they are soldiers or violent. Logically Facts has previously addressed conspiratorial claims linked to this assertion.

The Verdict

The footage has been misattributed to Barcelona, and the brawl was between locals and bar security. It does not depict violent refugees or asylum seekers. Therefore, we have marked this claim as false.

Would you like to submit a claim to fact-check or contact our editorial team?

Global Fact-Checks Completed

We rely on information to make meaningful decisions that affect our lives, but the nature of the internet means that misinformation reaches more people faster than ever before