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Spaniards Keep Up Week-Long Protests

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TEHRAN, May 25 (ICANA) – It's another morning in Madrid. The cleaners are out in the heart of the city; it's business as usual. Well almost. Just yards away hundreds are camping out in protest.
Wednesday, May 25, 2011 1:48:27 PM
Spaniards Keep Up Week-Long Protests

Some put away their sleeping bags to get ready for a new day. For others, not even the noise of the street sweeper will wake them up.

By 10.45 several hundred have gathered at the "assembly point" of the Square. In this make-shift city, this is their parliament. As the morning progresses, the crowds get bigger.

This is Peurto del Sol. Last week it would have been bustling with tourists and people catching the metro. This week its packed with protestors. Their message can be soon on the walls all around this square. Their message is loud, united and clear.

Several hundred people sleep here every night. In the day, a core group of about a thousand is out. The crowds come in ebbs and flows. Between midday and 2pm and again from 6pm onwards. Over the weekend, tens-of-thousands were out.

Organisers have told Press TV that keeping the numbers in the square high is crucial. They say its the reason the police haven't shut them down. In a speech one organiser made it clear that they are ready for any eventuality. If they are told to go, they have a team of lawyers to negotiate. If they are forced to go, they will come back.

The camp's similarity to Tahrir Square is undeniable. This is the new protest for a movement, spearheaded by the youth, that has gone global.

Spain has the highest unemployment rate in the industrialised world; among young people it tops 40-percent. It's economy is at breaking-point and the markets are reacting. On Tuesday, Global stock markets fell on fears that Spain could default.

The ruling socialist party led by Prime Minister Jose Luis Rodriguez Zapatero introduced harsh budget cuts that ignited these protests.

The policy is unpopular and led to defeat in local elections. But protestors say the opposition People's Party - who won - are no better. They are fed up of a 2 party political system that they see as corrupt.

It may not be a surprise that Spaniards are out in Madrid and across the country. This year has seen mass protests in Greece, Britain and France, Italy and Belgium. Those protests led to little or no policy change. Here they believe by taking the square they can make a change.

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