Video from 2020 anti-lockdown clash in Barcelona misattributed to recent pro-Palestine protests

By: Arron Williams
October 23 2023

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Video from 2020 anti-lockdown clash in Barcelona misattributed to recent pro-Palestine protests


The Verdict False

The video shows a confrontation between Anti-lockdown protesters and police in Barcelona in 2020. It does not show pro-Palestine protesters.

Claim ID 4f1f4bed


On October 7, 2023, Hamas militants launched a surprise attack from the Gaza Strip into surrounding Israeli communities, killing residents and tourists. In response to the attack, Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu declared that the country was now at war with Hamas and conducted multiple airstrikes in Gaza. According to the Associated Press, on October 19, the death toll passed 4,000, thousands have been wounded on both sides, and more than 423,000 Gazans have been displaced.

Misinformation related to the Israel-Hamas war has swept across social media. One video posted on X (formerly Twitter) on October 18, with over 50,000 views and reshared by other users, shows protestors clashing with police. The post claims that the video was recent and related to the current Israel-Hamas war and that it depicts pro-Palestine protestors clashing with police in Barcelona, with the caption reading, “Confrontations between pro-Palestine protesters and cops in #Barcelona #now.” 

In fact

The video is not related to the Israel-Hamas conflict and shows a clash between anti-lockdown protestors and the police in Barcelona in 2020. 

Through a reverse image search of different video frames, we found posts on X that shared the same video in 2020. Other similar videos show different angles of the same event taken at street level. The majority of these posts mentioned that the video was taken in Barcelona, while some posts stated the clash was between anti-lockdown protestors and the police. Many of the posts were published on October 30 and November 1.

The reverse image search also revealed that British tabloid The Daily Mail had also shared the footage on November 2, 2020. The video caption states, “This shocking footage shows anti-lockdown rioters violently clashing with and attacking police officers in Barcelona, as lockdown returns across Europe.”

The events were further described in a Catalan News article published on October 30, where it reported that 1,500 people turned up to a demonstration against coronavirus restrictions in Catalonia outside the Catalan government headquarters in Plaça Sant Jaume. The police stated that the protest was peaceful until far-right groups arrived and started throwing fences and firecrackers at officers. Clashes escalated, with the main confrontation taking place in Via Laietana. An examination of Via Laientana on Google Street View reveals the same buildings and landmarks as seen in the videos shared on X. 

The verdict

The video is from 2020 and shows anti-lockdown protestors confronting the police in Barcelona. It does not show pro-Palestine protestors clashing with police and has been misattributed to the current Israel-Hamas war. Therefore, we have marked this claim as false.

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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