Saturday, May 21, 2011
SPAIN REVOLT - Spain protesters defy ban to remain in Madrid square
Tens of thousands of Spanish protesters have defied a government ban and camped out overnight in a square in the capital, Madrid.
The protesters are angry with the government's economic policies and have occupied the square for the past week.
Spain's electoral commission had ordered them to leave ahead of local elections on Sunday.
But as the ban came into effect at midnight, the crowds started cheering and police did not move in.
The protest began six days ago in Madrid's Puerta del Sol as a spontaneous sit-in by young Spaniards frustrated at 45% youth unemployment.
The crowd has grown to some 25,000 in the capital and has spread to cities across the country. Hundreds have camped out each night in Madrid.
They are demanding jobs, better living standards, a fairer system of democracy and changes to the Socialist government's austerity plans.
"They want to leave us without public health, without public education, half of our youth is unemployed, they have risen the age of our retirement as well," said protester Natividad Garcia.
"This is an absolute attack on what little state welfare we had."
Another protester said she was taking part because she had no employment prospects despite having a degree.
"This should make the political classes aware that something is not right," said 25-year old Inma Moreno.
Many of the participants have drawn parallels between their actions and the pro-democracy protests in central Cairo that revolutionised Egypt.
Continue reading - BBC - Spain protesters defy ban to remain in Madrid square
The protests are not really anti-government, but rather anti-big political parties, both the one in power and the main ones in opposition.
It's an anti-capitalism, anti-market ruled society, anti-banks, anti-political corruption, anti-failed democracy, anti-degraded democracy and pro-real democracy protest.
It's a protest that wants a better, real future, not the future that the government or parties in opposition seem to be able to provide.
The manifestos and proposals are quite left-leaning ideologically, but not linked to any political party, because right now, most of us don't feel represented by them.
Continue reading - BBC - Spain protests: 'We want change'
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