On the afternoon of May 15, 2011, thousands of citizens suddenly began filling the streets and occupying the squares of more than 50 Spanish cities. Some of them camped out there for months. They had been summoned to a protest march by a group called Democracia Real Ya (Real Democracy Now) through the social networks.
With local and regional elections scheduled for May 22, very few media outlets saw the 15-M movement coming. And Spain’s political parties certainly did not.
Three years later, Podemos (We Can), a party that rose out of the ashes of that movement, became the fourth-most-voted political force in Spain at the European elections on Sunday. Nobody saw that coming, either.