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zaterdag, mei 12, 2012

Spain activists mark protest year

Spain's 'Indignants' wait for the beginning of a demonstration at Catalunya square in Barcelona The "Indignants" inspired similar protests in many other countries

Thousands of protesters are gathering in Spanish cities to mark the first anniversary of the "Indignants" protest movement.

Many are expected to converge on the Puerta del Sol square in central Madrid later on Saturday.

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.

"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.

'Long-distance race'

Some have criticised the movement for having little impact on Spanish politics over the past year.

The government of conservative Prime Minister Mariano Rajoy, elected last November, has introduced budget cuts and tax rises.

Mr Rajoy has also announced deregulation of the labour market, angering Spanish unions.

"This is a long-distance race, no-one can change an entire political system in one day or one year, it takes time," Noelia Moreno, a former spokeswoman for the Indignants movement in Madrid, told AFP news agency.

Similar protests have been taking place in other European cities as part of a global day of action staged by the Occupy movement.

In London, hundreds of protesters gathered outside St Paul's Cathedral, where a protest camp was removed in February.

Protests were also taking place in Italy, Belgium and Germany.

Source: http://www.bbc.co.uk/news/world-europe-18047618#sa-ns_mchannel=rss&ns_source=PublicRSS20-sa

interesting photography wired bbc