Thousands of “indignant” demonstrators are angered by politicians’ faliure to solve high unemployment and economic woes.
The 15-M movement took to Madrid’s streets once more on Sunday, when six columns of demonstrators on foot and over 30 buses converged on Atocha station and from there to Puerta del Sol, the square that has become a symbol for the grassroots protest that seeks more transparency in Spanish politics and an end to the economic crisis.
Thousands of protesters from all parts of Spain chanted slogans that have become 15-M classics, such as “Que no, que no, que no nos representan!” (No, no, they do not represent us), and held up hundreds of signs bearing phrases that urged the unemployed to organize themselves, or ordered bankers to stand trial (“La banca al banquillo”).
The motley collection of marchers ? families with kids, retirees, students, people with jobs and those without ? made stops at the Health Ministry, Congress, Madrid City Hall and the Bank of Spain, all of which got their share of jeers from the crowd.
Some of the protesters, who arrived in Madrid on Saturday from other parts of the country, spent the night on Paseo del Prado, camping out in tents or in sleeping bags which they laid out on the gardens that flank the popular downtown promenade.
The 15-M movement against Spain’s political class, named after May 15, the date of the first mass protest, began as a spontaneous demonstration that brought together people from all walks of life in a common struggle to overturn the system. It made international headlines for its combative stance ahead of the May 22 elections, when it camped out in Sol square and was compared to May 1968, inspiring similar protests in other countries, but since then, the movement has suffered from fragmentation and a slow decision-making process.