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20/05/2011 - Groups protest throughout Spain



The protest camp which has been established in one of Madrid’s busiest meeting points the ‘Puerta del Sol’ has been declared illegal by the government's electoral committee made up of eight high court judges and five university professors.

Nevertheless the protesters have decided to remain until the local and regional elections due to be held throughout Spain this Sunday. In addition the organizers of the protest have called for larger demonstrations to take place tomorrow on the eve of the elections.

The electoral committee has warned that as a consequence of their ruling these protests which are also taking place in various cities throughout the country are illegal. The electoral committee, which is the highest electoral body in Spain, deliberated for over six hours before reaching its decision. The decision means that the protesters are exceeding the right to demonstrate guaranteed under the Spanish constitution.

Furthermore the electoral committee believes that the protesters are breaking electoral legislation relating to the prohibition of all acts of propaganda and campaigning during the days of reflection before the day of voting. It also states that the formation of groups which are likely to impede access to polling stations or coerce voters in any way is prohibited.

The protesters in the Puerta del Sol met the decison with cries of ‘insumisión’ (rebellion). According to the organizers of the protest no decision over whether the large scale demonstration planned for tomorrow should go ahead has been taken.

Saturday's demonstration has been planned by the organizers of the protest in the ‘Puerta del Sol’ to coincide with Spain’s official day of reflection before the elections on Sunday. The protesters say that they do not belong to or support any political party say so they do not need to reflect on anything.

However the electoral committee has clearly stated that demonstrations linked to the 15th May movement for social and political change cannot take place between 00.00 hours on Saturday until 24.00 hours on Sunday when voting has officially closed.

According to the protesters in the ‘Puerta del Sol’ 57 other protest camps have been set up around the country and three international ones have been established.
Around a dozen demonstrations outside Spanish embassies have been organized over the internet using social networking sites in support of the 'Puerta del Sol' protest camp and the movement for ‘Real Democracy Now’.

The organizers of the protest have posted a message on their web page and on Twitter thanking the people of Madrid for their generosity but also saying that they do not need any more food donations because their makeshift storerooms are full.