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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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Green

As Air Quality Worsens, Kampala Citizens Find It Difficult to Breathe

Kampala’s air quality is much worse than globally accepted standards, but several interventions are being instituted to avert its effects.

As Air Quality Worsens, Kampala Citizens Find It Difficult to Breathe

Rush hour traffic in Kampala, Uganda on Sept. 9, 2022. Kampala’s air is nine times more polluted than the World Health Organization’s recommended limit.

Apophia Agiresaasi

KAMPALA, UGANDA — There’s something in Kampala’s air. Philomena Nabweru Rwabukuku’s body could tell even before she went to see a doctor. The retired teacher and her children used to get frequent asthma attacks, especially after they had been up and about in the city where there were many vehicles. It was worse when they lived in Naluvule, a densely populated Kampala suburb where traffic is dense.

“We were in and out of hospital most of the time. [The] attacks would occur like twice a week,” Nabweru says.

Her doctors blamed the air in Kampala, which is nine times more polluted than the World Health Organization’s recommended limit, according to a 2022 WHO report. By comparison, Bangladesh, the country with the world’s worst air pollution, is 13 times the recommended limit.

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