Spain’s protest movement “los indignados” (the “indignant ones”) marched through Paris last week en route from Spain to the Belgian capital Brussels. Yet our Observer, who has travelled with the movement all the way from Madrid, said she was disappointed by the less-than-enthusiastic welcome los indignados received upon their arrival in the City of Light.
was born on May 15 in Madrid as a means to peacefully protest against the Spanish government after it adopted a wave of tough austerity measures in a bid to save its ailing economy. The movement quickly spread across Spain and was soon mimicked in other European cities that have also witnessed soaring unemployment, particularly among younger generations
Two months after the movement formed, hundreds of indignados from across Europe gathered at its birthplace in Madrid’s Puerta del Sol square. There, they decided to march on the European Union’s headquarters in Brussels, where they plan to mobilise on October 15 to demand “real democracy” and “the end of financial dictatorships”.
In Paris, the first indignados demonstrations were organised at the city’s historic Place de la Bastille on May 19
. But unlike in Greece or Spain where thousands of people take to the streets to protest on a daily basis, the movement has barely taken off in France
The indignados march to Brussels arrived in Paris on September 17, where it was greeted by a meagre group of supporters. Despite the small turnout, riot police were out in overwhelming force to monitor a group of about 100 French and Spanish protesters gathered at Place de la Bastille on September 18.
The indignados face off against riot police at Place de la Bastille in Paris on September 18.