|Banner in Puerta del Sol, Madrid / Wiki Commons|
An order by the Spanish government banning protests after midnight last night was held up to ridicule when tens of thousands of demonstrators continued protesting after the curfew supposedly kicked in.
Yesterday was the last day for candidates to campaign for the election for municipal and regional government positions in much of the country. Citing the mandatory end of campaigning, the national election commission banned protests today and tomorrow – voting day.
But as city clocks chimed the beginning of a new day, thousands of demonstrators condemning government spending cuts – stood their ground. Some kept quiet, many with sticky tape over their mouths in a gesture to illustrate they were being gagged by the ban.
The government avoided saying if it would order police to break up the crowds in the early hours of this morning, but at the stroke of midnight officers kept a discreet presence on the edges of the demonstrations.