Thursday, 19 May 2011
Thousands of protesters who say they are ignored by Spain’s political class gathered in a central square in Madrid on Wednesday night to demand reforms, despite an effort by electoral officials to impose a ban on demonstrations as Spain prepares to vote in local elections this weekend.
As El País reports, the protesters defied a ruling by Madrid’s electoral board, which had refused to grant permission for a fourth straight day of protests in the Spanish capital’s Puerta del Sol, so close to election day.
The Spanish newspaper explains that the protesters are “fed up with high unemployment and a faltering economy,” and feel unrepresented by the major political parties.
Following the board’s ruling, riot police officers deployed around the square, but allowed protesters to enter after checking their national identity cards, according to a series of updates posted on the English-language section of the El País Web site.
A new Spanish youth group, Democracia Real Ya, or True Democracy Now, inspired by the pro-democracy movements in the Arab world, used social networks to help organize the demonstrations, which began on Sunday.
As El País explained, the organizers are a diverse lot, yet “so well organized that they put together a security team of 200 people to prevent any trouble during the Madrid demonstration; they also had enough vision to use all the tricks in the book to keep the protest among Twitter’s most popular conversation topics in the world for the entire day,” using the tag #15m, to claim the date of May 15 for the start of their #SpanishRevolution.
The group, whose manifesto has been translated into English (but the sites are so busy that I found they didn't load), on Wednesday called for demonstrators to occupy Madrid’s Puerta del Sol and other main squares in cities across Spain until Sunday’s elections.
Despite efforts by Madrid’s police force to clear the square at night, hundreds of protesters were still camped in the square on Wednesday, CNN reported
Read and watch the rest here.
Come on Britain FFS! Get off your apathetic arses!