Chanting “si, se puede,” Occupy Congress protesters in Madrid, Spain, are in a standoff with police as their all-day protest of austerity measures has now continued into the evening.
A livestream of the events shows clusters of police in riot gear attempting to hold back the crowd of “indignants,” with reports that they are firing rubber bullets into the crowd. Congress itself has been barricaded with metal gates around all entrances.
The twitter hashtage “#S25″ reveals that Occupiers stateside are watching the scene intently, referring to it as “breathtaking” and “the greatest thing I’ve ever seen”:
The BBC reports that the protesters are angry over Spain’s austerity measures and social program cuts. There are growing fears that the country may require a bailout in the coming months:
One of the main protest groups, Coordinadora #25S, said the Indignants did not plan to storm parliament, only to march around it.
The Coordinadora #25S manifesto reads: “Democracy has been kidnapped. On 25 September we are going to save it.”
Pablo Mendez, an activist from the 15M Indignants movement, told the Associated Press news agency: “This is just a powerful signal that we are sending to politicians to let them know that the Spanish bailout is suicide and we don’t agree with it, and we will try to prevent it happening.”
Another demonstrator, Montse Puigdavall, said: “I’m here because of the situation we are living in now, because of all the social cuts and rights that we have lost, that took a lot of hard work to achieve.
The Occupy Congress protesters in Spain are calling for Parliament to be dissolved and new elections.