May 20, 2011 - Posted by Erin in Culture, Madrid, Spain, Travel

This week, Puerta del Sol, Spain’s kilometer 0, transforms into Plaza Solución as citizens express their dissatisfaction with the Spanish government. From causes such as changing the voting process, to complete separation of church and state, to closing nuclear plants – thousands have come from far and wide to demand a total system overhaul.

I went to Sol to see the crowds and to understand their cause, which ultimately I learned were many. What I found most intriguing, though, was the peacefulness. Listening to one of the speakers, the colossal crowd cheered silently by raising their hands and shaking their palms. Among the protesters’ most important rules during the campaign: no violence, no alcohol and respect the press.

Walking through the impromptu tent city, I all but forgot that I was in Madrid, much less its “Time Square.” There were sofas, beds, recycling stations, and stands with food and beverages. Young protesters swept up the littered ground while Spanish grandpas, tourists and photographers meandered aimlessly through the organized chaos.

I’m not going to lie – I need to educate myself more about this cause to form my own proper opinion. What I can tell you so far, however, is that the manner in which this mass of people expresses their opinion is both humbling and inspiring. For that, they already have my respect.

Now I will let the pictures do the talking (be sure to view the live broadcast at the end of the post!). To see more photos, visit the La Tortuga Viajera Facebook page.

The sign above states: “It is recognized the right to organize peacefully and without weapons” and “to exercise this right does not require prior authorization.”

Free video streaming by Ustream


2 Responses to “Plaza Solución”

  1. Sabrina Says:

    That’s pretty impressive! When I heard that Spain was prohibiting protests, I couldn’t believe it. I was so glad that so many Spanish people still took to the streets and did so this peacefully. Way to go, Spain!

  2. Erin Says:

    Oh, let me tell you – they take to the streets and protest here like it’s going out of style. For me that might be the only problem – they protest so much, that it’s hard to take it seriously sometimes (for me anyway). This protest in Puerta del Sol is obviously a bit more note-worthy though!

Leave a Reply