30 May 2011

Protesters vow to stay in Madrid square

Protesters decrying Spain's economic woes vowed Monday to occupy a major Madrid square indefinitely as the movement spread to Europe, despite the risk of police action. Thousands of protesters against political corruption, welfare cuts and unemployment had voted by a show of hands late Sunday to stay in the Puerta del Sol square, agreeing to decide later on the duration.

"We have started something in Sol, we have started to spread to the rest of the world, so this is not the time to stop it," said a protest spokesman in the encampment, a sea of blue-plastic tarpaulin covering the square. "The support we received internationally was very important, it was something that moved us in Sol, especially the mobilisation in Paris was a very big support, and also the mobilisation in Greece."

Spain's protests began May 15 and fanned out to city squares across the country as word spread by Twitter and Facebook among demonstrators known variously as "the indignant", "M-15" and "Spanish Revolution".