The Socialist mayor of Callosa de Segura, in Valencia, Spain planned to remove this giant crucifix, supposedly in compliance with a “Historical Memory” law that demands associated with the regime of General Franco, the patriotic hero who preserved Spain from the twin scourges of Communism and immigration. Villagers assemble and chant “The cross will not be touched!”. Eventually the workmen there to dismantle it back off and leave.
The Crucifix is known as the Cross of the Fallen, dedicated to the memory of those who died on the patriotic side in the Spanish Civil War. It bears the inscription ‘José Antonio Primo de Rivera presente’. Primo de Rivera was the founder of the Falange [Phalanx], the Spanish fascist movement that took a leading role in violently resisting the Communist takeover of Spain. He himself designed much of the Falange iconography, including adopting the Yoke and Arrows symbol of the Catholic Monarchs, Ferdinand and Isabella, who expelled the Muslims and Jews from Spain.
Under his leadership, the Falangists attacked Jewish-owned department stores. José Antonio Primo de Rivera was executed by the Communist side at the outset of the civil war (in Alicante, very close to where the village involved in this incident is).
The word “Presente” (Present) was a standard part of fascist ritual. The idea was of a kind of roll-call in which people would turn up to do their duty and announce “Present”. And it was also a way of commemorating the dead; their name would be read and someone else, sometimes a whole crowd, would shout “Present!”.
The Historical Memory Law was passed in 2007 by a Socialist government in Spain. Even though there has been a nominally conservative government in Spain since 2011, it has not reversed the law, although it has cut off some funding for operations related to it.
The law requires the removal of objects that glorify the memory of Franco or the patriotic side in the civil war but provides exceptions for “artistic, architectural or religious-artistic” reasons. In this case, the Socialist mayor has chosen to disregard these provisions.