A Spain-wide protest, organised through online social networks such as Facebook, has seen thousands of people camp out overnight in major cities including in Barcelona's Plaça Catalunya (read article in Castilian here, El Periodico). Those taking part in the protests include students, the unemployed, people with problems paying their mortgage and others angry by the budget cuts. In Plaça Catalunya, around 600 people were gathered, the majority of them young people. At about 2am, the Guardia Urbana started asking the protestors to take down their tents and remove bottles and other belongings, so that the municipal cleaning services could carry out their tasks, but that later they could return to the square; the protestors said that they would have to make a collective decision about moving. In Madrid's Plaza del Sol, the site of the largest group, there were more than 3,000 people camping out; after having been made to disband their camp the day before, many had decided to return to continue their protest. Groups also staged demonstrations in Valencia, Zaragoza, Palma, Seville and Bilbao. According to one of the organising collectives, Democracia Ya!, around 130,000 people in total have taken part in the protests.
The number of Catalans living abroad rose last year by 9.3 percent to a new total of 170,909 people (read article in Catalan here, Avui). According to the Catalan Statistics Institute, the countries where most Catalans have headed to live are France, Argentina, Andorra, Germany and Venezuela; last year, the most popular destinations were France, Mexico, Chile and the US. The financial crisis has been cited as the most likely reason for the rise in Catalan emigrants in 2010. Almost half of those who left Catalunya to move abroad were people returning to their country of birth, having lived here temporarily and achieved Spanish nationality. The problems with the economy here are thus apparently motivating many such people to leave in their search for employment. Information about Catalans living abroad is collected by local consulates and embassies, but includes little personal data, which makes it difficult to understand the profile of those who move abroad and their motivations, according to the head of demographic statistics at the Institute, Dolors Olivares.
FC Barcelona has presented its strip for the next season, with a shirt featuring more stripes than in recent years and the logo for new sponsor, the Qatar Foundation (read article in Castilian here, La Vanguardia). The other novelty is that the away strip will be all black, in sharp contrast to the neon colours seen in the last few seasons. The design of the outfits is done by US sportswear company Nike, which has chosen to put in 17 red and blue stripes on the shirts for the 2011-12 season, and is described as the most daring design they've done so far for Barça. The relationship between the club and Nike started in 1998, and ever since the company has created a variety of designs using a differing number of stripes; only twice in all those years (the year that FC Barcelona celebrated its centenary, and when they won the triple) has Nike used the original Barça shirt design of half red, half blue. The sports company also caused surprise with its decision to go for an all-black away strip following several years of bright colours, including yellow, orange and turquoise, which proved popular amongst fans, especially children.