EFFORT TO STAGE MASS PROTEST IN DIQUE DEL OESTE FAILEDby Staff Reporter
THE peace protests against the war in Iraq continue in Palma, with a peace camp in the Parc de la Mar, by the Cathedral, and protests at the presence of an American warship in the bay. The Committee for Democracy and Social Globalisation, which has been organising the peace marches in Palma, had hoped to organise a mass demo at the port, when the USS Hawes arrived. But, only 20 or so people turned up, and this, according to spokesman Pep Juárez, was because it had been improvised because of lack of information.
The USS Hawes, which had been serving in the Gulf, will be in Palma until tomorrow.
The low turn out was in stark contrast to its other demos, such as the one held on February 15, in which 30'000 people took part.
Juarez said that we cannot allow a ship stained with blood to come here, as if nothing had happened, especially when the Balearic government has asked for Balearic ports and airports not to be used, and people have rejected then time and again. He went on to say that they would stage demos at the Dique del Oeste whenever a warship arrives, but at times it is difficult to find out. Juarez said that although the military conflict in Iraq is virtually over, it is necessary to continue protesting against this war and against all wars. In February, Balearic leader Francesc Antich wrote to Prime Minister José María Aznar, expressing his surprise and asking for an explanation for the visit to Palma by the destroyer USS Oscar Austin. The peace camp at the Parc de la Mar has been organised by the Young People for Peace movement to protest at the situation in Iraq.
But although it started with 25 tents and 100 campers on Thursday afternoon, and is not due to end until today, numbers had already dwindled by Friday evening.
Activities included a talk by Senator Manolo Camara, who visited Iraq, and Miliki Cruz, a member for the Committee for the Arab Cause, who was in Iraq in early January and saw a country destroyed by 12 years of embargo.
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