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Geopolitics

Still Fed Up, Spain’s “Indignados” Movement Finds Its Second Wind

In a second phase of their “indignant” protests, Spanish demonstrators call for an end to the “dictatorship of the financial markets” and let it be known the movement is here to stay.

A May 29 indignados protest in Madrid, Spain
A May 29 indignados protest in Madrid, Spain
Sandrine Morel

MADRID – "From the North to the South, from the East to the West, the struggle goes on, come what may." Spain's "indignados' – a loosely defined group of "indignant" protestors – have been singing this slogan since their movement began in mid-May.

Two months later, these words are still ringing from the rooftops in Spain, where the indignados continue to make their presence felt. Last month, hundreds of protestors set out from some 25 different cities on long marches to Madrid. Blistered but smiling, the indignados descended upon the capital this past weekend. On Sunday they gathered for what is being heralded as their third massive demonstration.

The indignados began their long marches June 19 as part of their overall fight to end the "dictatorship of the financial markets and political corruption." For more than a month they trekked along the roads of Galicia, Andalusia, Catalonia, Basque Country and Castile to spread their message in the various towns and villages they passed.

Many of the demonstrators are students, but there are also unemployed workers, a few retirees, fathers with their children, minors, teachers, seniors, middle-aged people and teens. All of them fed up with the status quo, the protestors also share a common urge to change the world – and a willingness to walk up to 600 kilometers to do so.

Organizers came up with the idea of the long-distance marches during a meeting that took place in early June, at a time when groups of indignados had set up encampments in several of Spain's principal cities. They defined the marches as an "initiative of social and pacific mobilization rooted in the constructive, democratic and open May 15 movement." Marchers are hoping to keep protesting throughout the summer.

In total, the indignados divided themselves into eight different hiking groups, which made their way through about 30 Spanish cities and villages. At night, the marchers organized meetings, inviting local residents to share their indignation with current conditions in Spain.

In Madrid they were welcomed Friday by thousands of locally-based indignados, many of them participants in the June 13 encampments in the city's main La Puerta del Sol plaza. The weary hikers were treated to massages and given guest of honor treatment in several large parties.

Past midnight, after exchanging a month's worth of adventures, the indignados launched their traditional mute scream and put up their tents in La Puerta del Sol and along El Paseo del Prado. Over the next two days the gatherers participated in debates, listened to speeches and gathered in meetings to organize mobilization strategies for the Autumn.

The indigandos' next major gathering is scheduled for Oct. 15, when they hope to lead a day of national protest. The slogan for the planned event is "Europe is for the citizens, not for the markets." By all accounts, the indignados have gained their second wind.

Read the original article in French

Photo - uchiuska

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Economy

In Uganda, Having A "Rolex" Is About Not Going Hungry

Experts fear the higher food prices resulting from the conflict in Ukraine could jeopardize the health of many Ugandans. Take a look at this ritzy-named simple dish.

Zziwa Fred, a street vendor who runs two fast-food businesses in central Uganda, rolls a freshly prepared chapati known as a Rolex.

Nakisanze Segawa

WAKISO — Godfrey Kizito takes a break from his busy shoe repair shop every day so he can enjoy his favorite snack, a vegetable and egg omelet rolled in a freshly prepared chapati known as a Rolex. But for the past few weeks, this daily ritual has given him neither the satisfaction nor the sustenance he is used to consuming. Kizito says this much-needed staple has shrunk in size.

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Most streets and markets in Uganda have at least one vendor firing up a hot plate ready to cook the Rolex, short for rolled eggs — which usually comes with tomatoes, cabbage and onion and is priced anywhere from 1,000 to 2,000 Ugandan shillings (28 to 57 cents). Street vendor Farouk Kiyaga says many of his customers share Kizito’s disappointment over the dwindling size of Uganda’s most popular street food, but Kiyaga is struggling with the rising cost of wheat and cooking oil.

Russia’s invasion of Ukraine has halted exports out of the two countries, which account for about 26% of wheat exports globally and about 80% of the world’s exports of sunflower oil, pushing prices to an all-time high, according to the Food and Agriculture Organization, a United Nations agency. Not only oil and wheat are affected. Prices of the most consumed foods worldwide, such as meat, grains and dairy products, hit their highest levels ever in March, making a nutritious meal even harder to buy for those who already struggle to feed themselves and their families. The U.N. organization warns the conflict could lead to as many as 13.1 million more people going hungry between 2022 and 2026.

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