A few months ago, Stephane Hessel (aged 93), a French veteran of the Resistance and diplomat, wrote the book “Indignez vous!”, which with only 30 pages became a best-seller and the social conscience of France, encouraging people to abandon the indifference and protest against the politics caste, which is not up to current needs. And now it seems that this same social consciousness has come to Spain and made to react (at last!) people here, who seemed to be totally apathetic and behaving like sheep, despite the bad social, political and economical situation that this country is living currently.
The already called “May 15 Movement” has entered hard into the Local and Regional Electoral Campaign. The demonstrators are formed by a very heterogeneous group of people, mostly young people, though there are also many unemployed, housewifes, “mileuristas” (people whose salaries are up to 1000 euros), retired people, civil servants, mortgaged, anti systems, progressive, conservative,……. grouped together after marches were held on May 15 against the failure of Spain’s political leaders to provide solutions to unemployment and the low-wage economy. Over 20 percent of Spaniards are out of work and youth unemployment stands at around 40 percent.
They were convened by an organization called Democracia Real Ya, formed three months before and which informed of the first meeting through the social networks (Twitter and Facebook) and day after day the number of people has been increasing at everywhere.
Protests in Madrid’s Puerta del Sol and in more than 150 other countries across Spain have been running during this whole week, even yesterday, that was the “day of reflection” (today is Local and Regional Elections Day) and in spite of a ruling by the country’s electoral board prohibiting any types of demonstrations before Sunday’s local and regional elections races. And it seems these protests will continue for some more days.
They are mainly complaining about the widespread corruption among the political class, though they have a long list of requests: they also complain about the rivalry between the two great parties that has poisoned the political atmosphere preventing real action being taken to solve the country’s problems, they are contrary to bipartisanship, they are sick of politicians that don’t listen to them, they want to change the Election Law, .......... A priori, they don’t ask to vote for any party, but they don’t call for abstention either.
Perhaps and in the least, this movement will make politicians to think of what they are doing wrong and if they are smart enough they could change their ways in political life. Let us hope so!
This is a live broadcast of Puerta del Sol in Madrid,
where protesters still remain