“We are ordinary people. We are like you: people, who get up every morning to study, work or find a job, people who have family and friends. People, who work hard every day to provide a better future for those around us.”
These are the first words of the manifesto of the “Spanish revolution”, the protest that began with a march through Madrid on the 15 May, led by young Spaniards angry at mass unemployment, austerity measures and political corruption.
The march turned into a spontaneous sit-in on the popular Plaza del Sol, which has now been mirrored in 57 other cities. Independent of any political party or trade union, the protesters’ ranks have been swollen by 2.0 campaigns on social networking sites and Twitter.
Young people are there because they’re worried about the future. 43% of them have no jobs as Spain’s young generation has been hard-hit by the crisis. Many highly-qualified graduates are forced to work as low-paid interns for years and a growing number have moved back home to live with their parents. However, the protest now includes all kind of people and thousands gather every evening, while hundreds have been camping out for over a week.
The tide has turned this weekend after the Spain’s opposition conservative People’s Party (PP) won the local elections, but the protesters believe that it will be “more of the same old thing”.
“I think I can change it. I think I can help. I know that together we can. I think I can help. I know that together we can.”
Ferran from Barcelona, Spain