Tens of thousands of people camped out in Madrid’s Puerta del Sol on Saturday despite a ban on political rallies ahead of local and regional elections.
Spain votes in regional polls later on Sunday amid demonstrations against the government’s austerity measures and high unemployment levels.
Many of the protesters say they have no affiliation to any particular party and profess a widespread distrust of the Spanish political class.
“Things can’t go on like this. Politicians can’t keep on laughing at us. Spain is a country that is no longer an example for anyone,” said one woman.
“This is enough. Both sides government and opposition need to think about this because they are actually the same. They should all stop lying to us. We really had enough,” another protester complained.
The ruling Socialists are predicted to take a beating at the ballot box, but demonstrators want the Spanish to boycott the election or vote for a minority party.