It was the third meeting "but it will not be the last until they do not respect the rule of law", said the president of the PP, Alberto Núñez Feijóo, on the hill of Príncipe Pío, the former Cuartel de la Montaña, where 215 years ago, the French executed the heroes of 2 May, immortalised by Goya.
Here, in the shadow of the 2,200-year-old Egyptian temple of Debod, the popular leader revalidated Madrid's meetings with citizens in the Plaza de Felipe II and Puerta del Sol. In fact, they celebrated the 45th anniversary of the Spanish Constitution three days early.
The FARC mediator
The collective rally of the Popular trio (Alberto, Isabel and José Luis) was interrupted on several occasions by loyal militants, most of them indignant with the President of the Government for the amnesty law and the negotiations with the coup plotters.
"He's not a president, he's a criminal!", "Sánchez traitor!" and "Sánchez to prison!" were the three most repeated slogans among the crowd so that the speakers grew louder and louder, welcomed by the midday heat.
Spring Sunday. A sea of national and European flags. Some 15,000 people. The story of the head of the opposition went from less to more; he modulated his words well so that they reached the hearts of those present. We were surprised by the Galician turned communist. "Nobody is more than anybody else", he said.
These were, in headlines, some of the main ideas of a party that is in turmoil.
A) "We have a president who wants to build a wall. We are going to tear down that wall that wants to divide us and we will do it with the Constitution".
B) "There is no right to do so much damage to Spain; we are not going to get used to their deceptions, even if they are their customs".
C) "Spain is a great nation despite this government".
D) "They -Sánchez and his associates- are a national disgrace and an international embarrassment".
E) "With the amnesty he has deceived his voters and all citizens".
F) "Not in our name to clandestine negotiations abroad".
G) "Mediation by a Salvadoran guerrilla expert is an unbearable humiliation".
He then went on to review the president's "tragic week" with his attacks on Italy, Israel and Argentina, which is calling Spanish foreign policy into question.
After saying that no one questions the legitimacy of the government - he insisted on legitimacy - he reminded that "we will not forget the Catalan constitutionalists" and said that [Sánchez] "will have to drink many cups of democratic broth". Then, he hitched himself to Winston Churchill's "V" for Victory: "We are not going to give up", he stressed. (Applause
They like fruit
The President of the Community of Madrid, Isabel Díaz-Ayuso adopted all the attendees because "Madrid is the common home of all Spaniards". She recalled that the capital of the Kingdom is the Moncloa's "obsession" because it always loses here, even if they call us facas, like Alfonso Guerra, Nicolás Redondo and Joaquín Leguina. "We are all fachas", she ironised. The cries of "Tú sí que vales, tú sí que vales" interrupted the speech. Ayuso is loved to death.
She recalled with humour the grievances of the people of Madrid: abandoned commuter trains, fiscal financing, control of water and the non-invitation to the inaugural trip of the Madrid-Oviedo AVE (high speed train). (More applause).
She defended the Constitution - 45 years of prosperity - and its essential values: equality, freedom, solidarity, separation of powers against this social-communist government that "goes against the unity of Spain".
Comforting words to a dedicated people: "We are going to stand up to this government, whatever the cost; we will open bridges and windows in the face of these walls [of tyranny]. Spain is more alive than ever". After recalling that the people of Madrid bear 70% of the solidarity of all the Autonomous Regions, she reiterated the philosophy of her message: "We are against amnesty because amnesty is against the Law of Laws and we defend Spain". "There is no right", he concluded, "for Sánchez [and his gang] to do us so much harm".
She did not miss the opportunity to remind believers that "the Popular Party likes fruit".
A mayor in love
The mayor of Madrid, Martínez Almeida, is very much in love. He ended his popular prayer by recalling that "they are not going to steal our smile, our joy and our hope". After greeting the Spaniards who had arrived from the other Autonomous Communities, he began at the end, with cheers for Spain and the Constitution. "It is the best thing we have done; we are proud of our democracy. This Rule is our future", he stressed to a devoted audience.
"The only truth" that Sánchez has told in his life", he continued, "is to admit that he changed his mind about self-amnesty on 23-JL; all because of the 7 seats of the fugitive Puigdemont and to continue a few more days in La Moncloa".
He stressed that the president wants to "build a wall to protect himself from judges, businessmen and citizens; I refuse to believe" - he concluded - "that there are socialists who are not ashamed of this Spain that not even the mother who gave birth to it knows", as Alfonso Guerra predicted in the 1980s.
A celebration of democracy
All ended with cheers for Spain, democracy and the Constitution. [None of them remembered the king.] But they all defended equality, freedom, solidarity and the independence of the rule of law.
The three speakers with Cuca Gamarra, the new full-time secretary general, greeted, hugged and allowed themselves to be hugged in the four directions of the stage. Isabel Díaz-Ayuso endears herself because she likes fruit. Cayetana Álvarez de Toledo was the queen of selfies.
It is a good thing that she has been reinstated as a member of parliament. We wish her all the best.
The event closed with the National Anthem. Too bad it still has no lyrics. And it will not as long as we are governed by those who want to destroy the Magna Carta.
This call of the national PP was an early celebration of the Constitution, the greatest consensus in our history that has allowed us to live in freedom for nine decades.
At the end of the event, part of the audience went to Ferraz Street to protest against the amnesty law being processed in the Congress of Deputies and against this government of illiterates whose Minister of Culture, Ernest Urtasun, has "consecrated" that five years is 25 years. May Gloria Fuertes forgive him!
The distance from the temple of Debod to Ferraz, 70 is barely 800 metres. It was not possible to pass Ferraz 60. A wall of six milkmaids cut off the demonstrators.
We heard the insults to the president - in the usual line - but at the national headquarters of the PSOE no one was there or expected. We suppose.
From this great democratic day - taking to the streets is a citizen's right and duty - we leave with two powerful pre-Christmas images: one, that, faced with a government created to build a wall of intolerance and inequality, an opposition has emerged that is prepared to resist because it does not accept Moncloa negotiating on equal terms with a Spanish region, however much Catalonia it may be.
An opposition sufficiently prepared to neutralise the "total war" of this mercenary government.
And two, that Spaniards are fed up, painfully fed up with a president who lies, lies and lies mercilessly, and, at the head, his minister Bolaños. A government that exchanges amnesty (erasing crimes) for power.
Ferraz remains as armoured as La Moncloa. We know what the coup plotters demand: subsidised independence. But, in such an asymmetrical negotiation, what are the quid pro quos for the state? Pre-emptive surrender.
These are turbulent times. Our stability has only one lifeline: the 1978 Transition. Since then, concord has been possible. Freedom is at stake, citizens. Long live the Magna Carta!
Antonio REGALADO directs BAHÍA DE ÍTACA at: