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Spanish protesters camp in city square

Thursday, May 19, 2011 - 01:44

May.19 - Protesters in Madrid camp out overnight in preparation for another day of demonstrations against a political system they view as corrupt. Nick Rowlands reports

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Hundreds of young Spanish protesters spend the night camping out in a central square in Madrid. They are angry at a political system that has led to a stagnant economy and Europe's highest rate of unemployment. Coordinated through social media, the movement marks a change in a country where anti-government activism has not recently been common. One of the organizers says they have the support of other European cities. (SOUNDBITE) (Spanish) OSCAR, MEMBER OF GROUP ORGANISING PROTEST: "It has also been an emotional night, because we received, during the night, a lot of news of European cities that were joining us, even on the other side of the Atlantic in the Spanish embassy in New York. That gave us morale and made the night better." Thousands of protesters who filled the Puerta del Sol square on Sunday and Monday were removed by police on Tuesday, but have returned every night. They have renamed the square "Solution Square", and covered it with banners demanding "Real Democracy Now". (SOUNDBITE) (Spanish) YURI, PROTESTER: "There were about 400 or 500 people at the camp, and many of them were working and organising, providing food and medical assistance. It has been incredible work for all of us and I think it is an incredible thing to do especially in this country where people have been so inactive so far. I think it is a great achievement." The protesters are calling on people not to vote for either of the main political parties in the local elections on Sunday. Nick Rowlands, Reuters.

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Spanish protesters camp in city square

Thursday, May 19, 2011 - 01:44