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Anti-austerity protests continue across Spain-Right now

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posted on May, 20 2011 @ 01:08 AM
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Anti-austerity protests continue across Spain-Now


latino.foxnews.com

Madrid – Thousands of supporters of the May 15th Movement mobilized on Thursday in this capital and other Spanish cities to garner the 1 million signatures needed to submit a bill to Parliament creating a mechanism for genuine citizens' participation in government.

Though the biggest protest was in Madrid's emblematic Puerta del Sol square, similar events took place in Barcelona, Castellon, Valencia, Murcia, Oviedo, Merida and other cities big and small.

The self-styled May 15th Movement emerged last Sunday to demand "real democracy now" and new economic policies against the backd
(visit the link for the full news article)


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posted on May, 20 2011 @ 01:08 AM
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"Spanish protests illegal"
Spain's Election Commission held on Thursday stated that the demonstrations are planned this weekend against the financial restraint is illegal.
Interior Minister Alfredo Perez Rubalcaba said earlier that the government is awaiting the Commission's decision before ordering police to disperse the protesters.

People have camped on the square in Spain's major cities to protest economic policies. They have vowed to stay until after Sunday's local elections.

latino.foxnews.com
(visit the link for the full news article)
police move in madrid demo/vid
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edit on 20-5-2011 by stavis because: (no reason given)



posted on May, 20 2011 @ 01:21 AM
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Originally posted by stavis

"Spanish protests illegal"
Spain's Election Commission held on Thursday stated that the demonstrations are planned this weekend against the financial restraint is illegal.
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Interior Minister Alfredo Perez Rubalcaba said earlier that the government is awaiting the Commission's decision before ordering police to disperse the protesters.

People have camped on the square in Spain's major cities to protest economic policies. They have vowed to stay until after Sunday's local elections.

latino.foxnews.com
(visit the link for the full news article)
police move in madrid demo/vid
edit on 20-5-2011 by stavis because: (no reason given)


Are the ink cartridges and glasses designers sponsoring the protests?

Just asking, since their info is in your post.



posted on May, 20 2011 @ 01:24 AM
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reply to post by notsofunnyguy
 


thanks 4 info
I am just tired thats all... back 2 bed in a hurry I guess...



posted on May, 20 2011 @ 01:29 AM
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reply to post by stavis
 


No problem.

It was good for a laugh.




posted on May, 20 2011 @ 01:31 AM
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Demonstrators are calling for a new Democracy (Real Democracy), against a system managed by corrupt and/or useless politicians, validating the Joseph Sobran's "Politics is the conspiracy of the unproductive but organized against the productive but unorganized"... The system has failed.

Well. These are peaceful demonstrations, just people sitting on a square, with tents, talking.

As long as it's considered a political act and the country is facing (district and provincial) elections for sunday, it's been considered illegal because the constitution states no political campaigns can be taken on election day and the day prior to it.

Police wont arrest nobody from the start, they're gonna tell them to leave or be fined. As far as I know protesters say they wont fight, but they wont move either. We'll see.



posted on May, 20 2011 @ 01:52 AM
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reply to post by notsofunnyguy
 


Always fun to make people laugh, in view of the dark ages we find ourselves in right now. The world seems to be in a kind of mass psychosis, and until people understand that all the news flow is not as dramatic as it may seem, it will probably take a while until we laugh again firmly.

Back to topic is the disturbing news that the police will take action against the protesters.

Spain: 5 police hurt, 24 protesters arrested may 16



MADRID - Spanish police say five of officers were hurt and 24 protesters were arrested in clashes in Madrid after a weekend rally by students, social groups and other people angry over austerity measures and grim economic prospects.

A National Police official said the detainees are accused of public disorder and damaging property, and remain in custody Monday.

This official said the riot police were only slightly injured. He spoke on condition of anonymity in line with department policy.

Madrid was one of several cities where tens of thousands of people rallied Sunday against austerity measures, what they see as incompetent, corrupt and pro-business politicians and a grim economic future in a country with 21.3 per cent unemployment.
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posted on May, 20 2011 @ 04:16 AM
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These are not anti-austerity protests, but anti-system. A lot more than just austerity.



posted on May, 20 2011 @ 04:31 AM
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Originally posted by AboveTheTrees


These are not anti-austerity protests, but anti-system. A lot more than just austerity.




Yes ..more infos in this thread

www.abovetopsecret.com...



posted on May, 20 2011 @ 06:12 AM
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in germany too?

www.facebook.com...
edit on 20-5-2011 by alienesque because: (no reason given)


there was a small (first) protest in berlin yesterday..today one is planned for another part of berlin then the Brandenburger Tor..
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posted on May, 20 2011 @ 01:06 PM
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Live stream spain



Nobody expects the Spanish revolution

19 May 2011: Javier Navascués reports on the youth movement occupying Spain’s public squares

‘We, the unemployed, the underpaid, the subcontracted, the precarious, the young … demand a change towards a future with dignity. We are fed up of reforms, of being laid off, of the banks which have caused the crisis hardening our mortgages or taking away our houses, of laws limiting our freedom in the interest of the powerful. We blame the political and economic powers of our sad situation and we call for a turn.’

When a new and unknown platform called Real Democracy Now called for a demonstration last Sunday, 15 May, few expected that something like 130,000 people would turn out across Spain. Around 1,000 of those attempted to occupy Madrid’s central square, the Puerta del Sol, overnight in a conscious imitation of Tahrir Square. They were violently evicted by police, but the next day similar camps sprang up in most major cities. They are still mostly there and intend to remain until Sunday’s local elections.

Of course, though the movement has taken even the organisers by surprise, it has antecedents and a context. Its roots include those groups and movements connected to the World Social Forum process as well as the protests organised by young people before the financial crisis over the high cost of homes as a result of the property boom. More recently, a ‘Youth without a future’ demonstration attracted up to 3,000 people in April, marching under the slogan ‘No House, No Job, No Pension, No Fear’. This was not a particularly impressive turnout, though it matched the unimpressive turnout for recent trade union mobilisations.

The trade union response to the crisis was slow in coming and quickly lost steam. A general strike last September happened nine months after the first austerity measures were announced. Then the large unions signed an agreement with the government on pension cuts in January. Although they were denounced by smaller, more militant unions, those unions were unable to call a significant mobilisation against the agreement. Union rank and file members are showing clear signs of demoralisation.

Then came the election campaign. A court battle concerning the possibility of pro-ETA candidates running in the Basque Country resulted in them being allowed to run (good news because it signals a better chance of bringing terrorism to an end) but provided the right with an opportunity to stoke Spanish nationalistic chauvinism. On the other hand the austerity policies and the high rate of unemployment have alienated a lot of the popular classes who would normally support the PSOE. As a result the polls were forecasting a landslide defeat of the PSOE to the PP. United Left (IU) is showing significant advances in the polls, but nothing to match the major shift away from the PSOE.

Then the marches last Sunday erupted. They were called mostly by word of mouth and through social networks. Thousands marched against the banks and for real democracy. Botín, CEO of Banco Santander, and other prominent businessmen were identified as responsible for the crisis, while one of the most popular slogans was ‘PSOE and PP are the same #’. Corruption is also targeted. People shouted ‘no hay pan para tanto chorizo’ (there is not enough bread for so many sausages). As well as being a Spanish sandwich sausage, ‘chorizo’ also means ‘crook’ in popular slang.

Some are now advocating a ‘blank’ vote in the elections, but in most cases ‘real democracy’ is understood as the need to reform the electoral regulations and, more significantly, the primacy of elected bodies over the ‘markets’ and the accountability of elected officials.

The right will still most probably win the elections although a surprise cannot be ruled out. If the defeat is large enough, PSOE prime minister Rodrigo Zapatero will probably be forced to call an early general election. It does not seem realistic to expect a left turn as his government is highly committed to the austerity policies that are being designed at the European level.

But the Spanish landscape the day after could be different. There could be new actors on the stage. Whether or not this particular movement survives, contestation in Spain is gathering momentum and it will recover. And although this new impetus will not automatically shift either the unions or the PSOE grassroots to the left, this week’s mobilisations will certainly have an effect on the labour movement. The anti-globalisation movement in Spain, which was thought dead, has reappeared under a new incarnation.

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posted on May, 21 2011 @ 08:43 AM
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Latest video from democracy now and spanish protesters



posted on May, 21 2011 @ 08:48 AM
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The rage in Spain continues as tens of thousands pack Madrid's city centre for a sixth day in protest over austerity measures and crippling unemployment.

Democracia Real Ya! Revolution comes to Spain.
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The party´s just getting started on Plaza del Sol

Christy Colcord

The party´s just getting started on Plaza del Sol

I've been lucky on my current travels through Portugal and Spain with my niece to be in the right place at the right time for a number of noteworthy events. The most fun was had at a massive victory parade in Porto on Thursday (more on that in another post), but the most important event was the protest we stumbled upon in Madrid's Plaza del Sol on May 15th.

That day, a Sunday, had already been memorable for us as it's the festival day for Madrid's patron saint - San Isidro. We'd admired the special San Isidro cakes, chuckled at the children in their festival clothing, watched music & performances in Madrid's many public squares and seen a traditional religious procession along the main drag, Calle Mayor. It felt like all of Madrid was out enjoying the beautiful spring weather. As we strolled toward Plaza del Sol, we couldn't believe the masses converging into what seemed to be a sort of angry party. People draped themselves across every bus stop and fast food stand and spread upward along the many streets that converge in the plaza. Police later estimated the crowd at 20,000 plus.

Spain has a major election this Sunday the 22nd and the gathering was designed as a protest against the meager choices represented among the slate of candidates. Most carried signs that said, "Democracia Real Ya!" ("Real Democracy Now!) or various slogans representing the current batch of Spanish politicians and bankers as at best incompetent and at worst corrupt. There were speakers and music, though the crowds were so large we were never able to even catch a glimpse of the stage. It was an eclectic mix of ordinary people - not the usual band of squatters and anarchists I'm used to from European protests in the 90s. There was no obvious support for any particular party and it was the one place in town that I didn't see the ubiquitous PP/PSOE campaign materials. Mostly, it seemed that people were just there to express their displeasure at the way democracy has evolved in their country.

Spain essentially has a two party system like our own. There's the ruling Spanish Socialist Workers Party, represented by current Prime Minister Jose Luis Rodriguez Zapatero and the more conservative Popular Party. Newspapers generally seem to predict major losses for the Socialists, not unlike the losses suffered by the Democrats in our last election. Nobody likes the guys in charge when there's a recession on. Zapatero's government was popular when times were good and government coffers were full, as they were able to enact big social welfare reforms. Now that the money's gone and government belts have tightened, people are feeling the pinch. It's a not unfamiliar tune for us back home. Because we never seem to save for a rainy day or mismanage even when we do, social services get cut when the economy turns bad and people need them the most.

So everyone's mad at the Socialists for their handling of the crisis, but their competition, the Popular Party, are currently embroiled in a messy corruption scandal. Apparently, the PP politicians in Valencia were selling government contracts to unqualified companies for campaign contributions. So here's your choice, gente amable de Espana, corrupt or incompetent, incompetent or corrupt. Hence, the outpouring of support on May 15th at the Plaza del Sol for better options.

The Real Democracy Now Movement, or the "May 15th Movement" as it's now being called, was started by two ordinary guys fed up with the situation, Fabio Gandara and Jon Aguirre. They're not even calling for a boycott of the election - in fact they're encouraging people to vote for whichever candidates in either party they like - they just want a reinvigoration of Spanish democracy. They want more voter/civic participation and for officials on both sides to better represent the population that elects them. They were inspired by the internet spawned democracy movements in neighboring North Africa and used social media as the sole tool to draw the tens of thousands that have come to their rally. They felt that this passion for democracy in autocratic states should inspire those who already have democracy to ensure it lives up to its potential. I tend to agree.
A different kind of party on the other end of Calle Mayor - the festival of San Isidro.

Christy Colcord

A different kind of party on the other end of Calle Mayor - the festival of San Isidro.

As of the time I write this, the May 15th protest that we stumbled upon has inspired similar gatherings in at least 50 other cities in Spain. Protesters have remained in Plaza del Sol around the clock ever since. Police and local government officials have attempted to displace the protesters and the big showdown will come on early Saturday morning. Spain, like many reasonable places other than the US, holds their elections on a Sunday (when the most people will be free to vote) and campaigning is strictly prohibited for 24 hours before Election Day. The government is trying to argue that the protest is essentially a big campaign rally and should be forcibly ended Friday at midnight. The organizers quite reasonably point out that they're not officially supporting either party, so it can't be considered campaigning. The court is making its decision today, so by the time you read this the Square may be empty or there may be rioting going on. My niece received an email from the US Embassy telling us to stay away from Plaza del Sol and the major squares in other Spanish cities at least until Monday.

For now, the protest goes on and the crowd is growing. 'El Pais' today printed words of encouragement for the protesters from both Penelope Cruz and Pedro Almodovar. Apparently, May 15th support rallies are under way or are being planned by expats in front of Spanish embassies around the world, including in Chicago and DC. Maybe San Francisco should be next
? Let me know if anything interesting happens. I'll be in Barcelona on Election Day and look forward to seeing what Catalan Real Democracy supporters have to say.

(I must give the caveat that I am no expert on Spanish politics and am relying heavily on the Spanish daily 'El Pais', comments from Spaniards and my meager Spanish language ability to convey the details of the May 15th Movement and the upcoming election. Please forgive any errors or misrepresentations. I encourage those of you who are interested in the subject to do your own research through more reliable sources.


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