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Camp outs and protests spread nationwide

The focal point of the 15-M movement is the Puerta del Sol, the heart of Madrid and of Spain. Nevertheless, all over Spain the young and not-so-young are gathering in the main squares of their cities. Such is the case of Zaragoza where an estimated 6,000 people came together to protest against the current political situation in Spain on Friday night.


The tent area began to expand Friday evening as people set up camp for the weekend in front of the Zaragoza town council. A makeshift stage with microphones and speakers located in the middle of the square was the platform used by all who wanted to share their opinions with the crowd gathered near the Basilica del Pilar.

Protesters camp out in Zaragoza. Photo: Joe McMahon

“I’m here to show the politicians that we’re not idiots. All they do is make noise. They don’t say anything, they’re just like dogs, wolves and hens and I don’t want animals representing me,” Cristian Alcala, 31, said.

Alcala, unemployed, was volunteering at the improvised childcare area. He explained that he would stay “as long as body could take it,” and that he was thrilled with atmosphere and the new friends he had made. “I’m not very sociable and came here alone, but I’ll be going home with a thousand new friends when this ends.”

Sergio Garcia, a history student from Logroño, was in charge of a second-hand clothes shop. The initiative was to protest against the multinational firms and to provide clothes for free for those who needed them. “People are unhappy with the situation. Although the philosophy here is that we’re not against any political party, personally I’d like to see the smaller parties win more votes on Sunday,” Garcia said. “We’re normal people and we want a change.”

The overall mood was of support and understanding for the protesters. Many bystanders took photos and expressed the feeling that it was about time that somebody did something. The festive atmosphere reached its climax at midnight with the clanging of pots and pans and anything else that made noise.

Not everyone was supportive of the 15-M movement and many were frustrated by fears that it wouldn’t improve the situation. Jason Morris, an English teacher from the UK and resident in Zaragoza for 14 years, wasn’t impressed. “Most people there don’t even know what it’s about. They’re all anti-system and they’re not going to change anything anyway.”

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Published: May 21 2011
Category: Iberoblog
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1 Comment for “Camp outs and protests spread nationwide”

  1. Leander Starr Jameson

    Good, well informed article twisted at the end by the negative comment from Jason Morris. What exactly do you mean by anti-system, Mr.Morris? These people have been sold down the river by the system so why shouldn’t they oppose it. Indeed, it is your kind of attitude that allows the system to get away with its corrupt practices. Spain needs to change and Los Indignados are the only people doing anything about it. OK, they might not have a clear picture of the whole situation but they know something is seriously wrong and they are trying to change it. Good luck to them.

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