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PROTESTS marked the opening of the San Fermin bull festival in northern Spain today as women’s groups wore black and purple scarves as a symbol of opposition to sexual violence.
The world-famous event went ahead despite calls for it to be cancelled after five men were accused of raping a woman at the 2016 bull-run.
The men, who called themselves “the wolf pack,” were sentenced to just nine years in prison — for sexual assault, having been acquitted of rape — in a case that shocked the nation and led to mass protests against sexual violence.
The group filmed themselves attacking an 18-year-old woman as they led her through the streets of Pamplona. The police report said she had a “passive or neutral attitude,” keeping her eyes closed at all times.
Authorities say they have taken measures to deal with a rise in sexual assaults in the city, from two reported in 2008 to 22 last year, according to a Public University of Navarra study.
Mayor Joseba Asiron claimed: “Pamplona is leading the push against sexual aggression.”
And city council equality spokeswoman Laura Berro added: “Because we’ve given voice to feminist ideas, and gradually, there are very important, very deep changes taking place.”
Feminist groups in Pamplona said the festival should go ahead, rejecting national calls for a boycott.
They say they have fought off sexual aggression for decades and would decide such matters on their own without outside interference.
Animal rights protestors daubed themselves in red paint in protest at the killing of bulls at the event.
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