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Los Indignados take square as Police keep low profile

Mon 8th Aug 2011

Recent opinion polls suggest how the majority of Spaniards support 'los indignados' in their call for changes to the country's political and economic system. With unemployment hovering at around 21% - rising to almost 45% for the under 25', it is easy to see why it is the younger generations who are coordinating the movement.

The government is attempting to shore up it's ailing economy and falling levels of employment by implementing a number of austerity cuts and reforms, such as increasing the age of retirement, and reducing workers rights to make it easier for business to hire and fire employees in line with demand dictated by economic conditions. However, the protestors say it is the system itself that needs to change.

Since last week the police had been preventing the protestors from occupying the Puerta del Sol Square, which has become a significant and regular meeting place since the movement began on May 15th. On Thursday of last week the indignados held a demonstration outside the Ministry of the interior in protest against being denied access to the square, which resulted in violence when the riot police were forced to take action.

The police backed down on saturday in the face of outrage from the public, as thousands of new protestors arrived in the capital. Discussions were held in the square over the weekend, where it was decided that the group would keep a permanent presence in the square until their voice is heard.

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