Hi Steve, from Gladys
It "began" with a concentration on May 15th complaining about: 1). the banks. In Spain if you take out a mortgage
on your house and at some point are unable to repay your loan (in this case because of mass unemployment) the
bank takes back your house but you are not forgiven the loan, you still have to repay the loan on the whole price of
the house, where as the bank takes it back for 1/2 of the value and auctions in off. So you're homeless, debt-ridden,
unemployed and driven to poverty. (uneployment will not be fixed in under 4-5 years)
2). The goverment fed the banks money from the pension funds etc. so that they would lend money out (yeah right)and with this circulating current to help the economy (laugh) this the banks did not do, but kept it all to themselves and are still refusing loans.
3). Because of Nº3 many small companies have closed in under 2 months after having been in business for over 30 years. (these small companies are the ones that really keep the economy going)
The biggest manipulation on the news is that these protests are from young people. This is NOT TRUE everyone who has lost their home and job and cuts on the (retired people's pensions) are out there. From all ages and all walks of life.
They have been gathered in Zero-zone Puerta del Sol (Gate of the Sun) in the very centre of Madrid. They have been
there since May the 15th. The first night (5.a.m.) the police tried to get rid of the 200 that stayed behind, provoking conflict, so
they went away and quietly came back hours later with more peole.
The second day it started pouring down with rain and some of them that were there thought that others would leave, but to everyone's amazement not only did no one leave, but people started flowing in through all the streets just to be with them. Everyone brought
something, Food, water, blankets, clothing, and everoyone offered to help in which ever way they could. Taxi drivers offered free lifts for the ones that needed to carry out any duty or activity. Neighbours offered their homes for people to shower in. Restaurants started sending vans with food for the people.. and on and on.
Wood and Metal carpenters arrived with materials to set up stands and shelter. There's even sofa's to sit on. And an nursery for the protection and rest of the smaller children. It is all very organised and has been spontenous and from the heart.
Tomorrow we have municiple elections and by law today is the "day of reflection" where no one can campaign" for political reasons, and they want to use that law to get rid of the people in the area. This should have been done last night at midnight. The police sindicates where against getting the people out because a). there were too many, and small children and elderly people. and b) they were worried that it would turn into a bloodbath. This was the police's advice.
I've only just got up, so I don't know what's been going on because the majority of the TV channels are just manipulating the news (there's a few that haven't completely done it) so I have to look on the internet.
Also, it's not just in Madrid, they're doing it in all major cities of the country.
I'll let you know more later on.