The streets of Madrid saw an entirely different protest on Sunday, as thousands of sheep and other farm animals blocked traffic in the annual "trashumancia", or transhumance event.
While over the weekend, tens of thousands of people were out on the streets of Madrid, protesting against austerity measures and demanding the resignation of the Spanish government, and even the police were having a demonstration of their own, another more traditional protest happened on Sunday.
The annual transhumance event was held, where more than 2,000 sheep and other farm stock were led through the center of the city to defend ancient grazing, droving and migration rights.
This colorful event has been running every year since 1994 and is basically to defend the right to use ancient droving routes, which used to crisscross the fields and woodland, where the sprawling city of Madrid now stands.
These routes have been in existence since around 1273, and the shepherds, following an age-old tradition, have to pay 25 maravedis (a type of coin first minted in the 11th century) to the city hall to use the crossing. Once this is paid, they can then take their flock through the city streets with no hindrance.
As a tradition, shepherds in Spain have the right to use 78,000 miles (125,000 kilometers) of paths throughout the countryside for seasonal livestock migrations, from the cool mountain pastures in summer, down to the warmer lowland grazing in the winter. This migration is called transhumance, or trashumancia in Spanish, and the Ministry of Agriculture has been promoting the annual fiesta since 1994.
El Nuevo Herald interviewed Jorge Jiménez, aged 25, who was walking with a donkey. ''We have been walking, we arrived yesterday afternoon from Hoyos del Espino", which is more than 150 km to the West of Madrid.
"This is something beautiful, because it is a tradition of the Spanish people and serves to remind that we were migrating."
Jiménez is computer science student originally from a livestock family.
Manuela Pozuelo, 45, was watching the parade with her 18-year-old son and daughter of 11.
"I think it is a very good idea, because it is something which you are not used to here in Madrid, especially people who do not have a habit of leaving the city to go to the villages," Pozuelo said.
Spaniards are proud of their ancient sheep-rearing traditions. The native Marino breed is highly thought of and has been exported to South America and Australia, where they are renowned in the local wool industries.
The above video shows the transhumance event when it was held in Madrid on October 30, 2011.