Spanish Indignants start long protest march to Brussels

Indignants set out from Madrid to Brussels

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Spanish activists, known as "the Indignants", have set off from Madrid on a long march to Brussels.

They are protesting against what they see as governments bowing to financial markets and ignoring the needs of their own people in the economic crisis.

As they head north, the protesters plan to hold meetings, collecting complaints and proposals as they go.

Since the movement began in Madrid two months ago, similar groups have sprung up across Europe.

The Indignants have added a new chant to their repertoire: "To Brussels!" they sing.

It will have to keep their spirits up for fully 1,000 miles (more than 1,500k), as they march across three countries.

Many of them have already spent weeks on the road, walking across Spain to Madrid, says the BBC's Sarah Rainsford in the Spanish capital.

Protester hug goodbye at start of march to Brussels on 26 June Protesters from across Spain gathered in Madrid last weekend. Next stop; Brussels

Following a mass rally there, the Indignants are heading for the heart of Europe.

They say they are marching because they are fed up with the way the economic crisis is playing out in Europe, with spending cuts, job losses, and privatisations, while those they blame for the recession remain unaffected.

The aim is to link up with fellow indignants from across Europe for a mass rally in October.

The Madrid protest began on 15 May and spread to other Spanish cities as word got around via Facebook and Twitter.

Spain's unemployment rate is the highest in the EU, at 21.3%. For the under-25s, it has risen to 44.6%.

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