Spain's ?Indignants? Mark First Anniversary Of Anti-Austerity Protests

   on May 13 2012 3:14 AM
Spain
Protesters observe a minute of silence as they wave white tissues during a protest marking the one year anniversary of Spain's Indignados (Indignant) movement in Madrid's Puerta del Sol, May 12, 2012. Reuters

Thousands of demonstrators took to the streets of several Spanish cities late Saturday in what is described as a massive social movement against the economic atrocities the nation is coerced into.

The indignant activists marched for hours to Puerta del Sol square in central Madrid, shouting slogans. The scene was reminiscent of last year's protest against the government's austerity policies. Around midnight, protestors called for a minute of silence, after which they shouted, Yes we can, yes we can, the Agence France-Press said.

Unlike last year's month-long demonstrations, the latest protests will last four days and end May 15, a historical date which marks the first anniversary of the movement. Though there were no reports of violence, police were called in to disperse the protesters, who remained at the square until early hours of Sunday morning.

Around 30,000 Spaniards were said to have participated in the movement, Madrid police estimated. Organizers of the movement estimated a larger turnout of 220,000 activists in Barcelona.

The government has permitted the indignants to hold peaceful demonstrations at the Puerta del Sol for five hours Saturday and 10 hours for the remaining three days.

Unhappy about the looming economic crisis in the country, the Spaniards are seeking to overturn the deep austerity cuts imposed by the government. The government Friday introduced a drastic reform of 30 billion euro ($39 billion) austerity cuts starting this year. Unemployment currently stands at 24.4 percent, and is sky high at 52 percent for the youth category.

The situation is getting worse but the root of the problem remains the same; this is a moment of crisis for capitalism, indignant activist Jesus Gonzalez was quoted saying by Reuters.

Similar movements were held in Moscow and Britain. Around 600 Occupy London demonstrators rallied in front of the Bank of England leading to the arrest of 12 people, the news service said.   

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