The Guardia Civil calculated fifty, the organisers two hundred. Whereas estimating numbers of people on foot is tricky, giving a figure for numbers of cars should be less so. One, two, three ... . They can be counted relatively easily, especially if they are going reasonably slowly and in a “caravan”.

So it was in Puerto Pollensa on Sunday. There was a protest against the removal of the playgrounds on the beaches. The Costas haven’t said for certain that they will be removed, but be this as it may. Any excuse to get out and do some sort of strange socialising - a protest by car.

The motorised demo is all the rage. It was in vogue pre-Covid, but social distancing has determined that protest by vehicle has become the standard form. In Puerto Pollensa, the protesters stuck to the letter of the national government delegation’s permission. Not a foot set on the coastal road. Had a foot done so, and a fine would have been forthcoming.

Understandable though banning protests on foot is, the encouragement for the motorised demo does appear somewhat contradictory to all talk of sustainable mobility. Bikes, electric scooters, Shanks’s pony; these are sustainable, cars are not. Climate emergency or not, walking has been outlawed. Moreover, walking has been penalised mightily with fines. Yes, they were disobeying, but all those who have copped for fines might legitimately argue that they were doing their bit for the environment.
Covid has produced its curiosities; motorised protesting is one of them.


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