Spain’s ‘Indignants’ mark protest anniversary in their tens of thousands
Tens of thousands of protesters have gathered in Spanish cities to mark the first anniversary of the “Indignants” protest movement.
Pictured above: Protesters fill the streets; Youth unemployment in Spain stands at 50%, the highest of the 17 countries in the Eurozone [Via/More].
In central Madrid, protesters are still occupying Puerta del Sol square despite a midnight deadline to disperse.
The movement was formed out of anger at the impact of Spain’s deepest economic crisis in decades.
Unemployment hit a record high in April and the government has recently announced fresh austerity measures.
The turnout in Madrid was huge and would certainly have met organisers’ expectations, says Guy Hedgecoe, reporting for the BBC from Madrid.
Spanish authorities had said they wanted the protesters to disperse by midnight local time (22:00 GMT) but many thousands have defied the time limit.
“Today’s goal is to recover the public spaces,” protester Sofia Ruiz told Reuters.
“It is also a way to celebrate that we have been existing for one year and that we are going to be there until the system changes or we are listened to and they take into account our claims,” she added.
Last year the Indignants established a protest camp in Puerta del Sol, but the authorities have said they will prevent any protesters from staying overnight in the square.
There are some 2,000 riot police on duty but they have so far made no move to disperse the protesters.
At least 45,000 people also took to the streets in Barcelona, police said, although organisers put the attendance in the hundreds of thousands.
One protester there, Jose Helmandez, told the BBC he was a genetics and molecular biology doctor but had been unable to find a job in his field.
“A lot of people are leaving the country to find work, even if they end up not doing something they are qualified to do,” he said.
“I was living in France but returned to Spain almost two years ago, and all I can find are short-term jobs.” …
Read More: BBC News