Tens of thousands of Spaniards protesting against the economic crisis and the austerity measures marched on the streets of different cities in the country Saturday to mark the first anniversary of the Indignados (indignant) movement that ignited similar protests worldwide.
At least 100,000 protestors flooded the streets of Madrid shouting slogans against the tough austerity measures and holding signboards against the banks. The protesters gathered in central Puerta del Sol plaza, where the Indignados movement was born a year ago.
The protesters said that they would continue with the demonstrations for three days. However, the authorities said they would not allow the protesters to camp overnight.
The Indignados movement was started as a protest against the soaring unemployment, widening gap between the rich and the poor, recession and the austerity measures.
Spain is still reeling under the euro zone debt crisis and unemployment rate has climbed over 24 percent. The Spaniards are facing tough and unpopular austerity measures, including cuts in public spending on welfare measures, health and education.
We have to stand up and say enough is enough! They pull our hair telling us we're lazy so they can dismantle social welfare and take away health and education and now they're bailing out the bankers, Reuters reported Gloria Bravo, a civil servant, as saying.
The situation is getting worse but the root of the problem remains the same; this is a moment of crisis for capitalism, Jesus Gonzalez, another protestor, told Reuters.
Protests marches took place in more than 80 cities in the country with people gathering in thousands chanting the protest mantra, They say it's democracy but it's not.
Similar protest marches and demonstrations were held in London. More than 600 protesters demonstrated against the Bank of England in the city and twelve of them were arrested.