A total of 30'000 people, including 500 teachers, 200 belonging to the Balearic University and 300 to Primary and Secondary education centres, will take to the streets this Saturday in a massive march against the new Balearic government's policies. The teachers made a declaration in defence of Majorcan land, in which they called on the common sense of politicians of the present Balearic government to put a stop to the avalanche of construction projects. The teachers also lambasted legal changes in environmental policies, both territorial and touristic which, in their opinion, are provoking disproportionate and unsustainable growth. Macia Blazquez, head of the Balearic ecological watchdog, GOB, declared that it would be very satisfactory to repeat the figure of 30'000 demonstrators which turned up at the last large protest gathering held in 1998 in defence of the environment. She signalled furthermore that GOB is intending to get in touch with young musical stars to ask them to read the protesters' manifesto at the end of the demonstration. The presence of these artists will add a special sparkle to renewed ecological claims against government policy said Blazquez. The head of GOB didn't give away any names but mooted the possibility that there would be two people to read out the manifesto. In the joint declaration presented by the teachers, much criticism was made of the legal subterfuge resorted to by current political leaders. Teachers also condemned their contempt of legitimate citizen organisations and their flight from deep-seated social debate held over the last few months to analyse the consequences of territorial development. As teachers, we have to ask ourselves what sense is there in attempting to convey a series of solid values to our students when the powers that be are exhibiting exactly the opposite tendency claimed Antoni Catalan, Balearic University teacher. Teacher, Antoni Martinez, made a comparison between the campaign for the protection of land on the Balearic Islands with a similar movement in the archipelago of the Canary Islands. The latter involved defending some 40 percent of the total surface area of the island which had been marked out for development. In the meantime said Martinez, politicians here are still continuing to talk about quality tourism not realising they are making fools of themselves. Miquel Rayó, another teacher, made reference to the declarations made yesterday by the Balearic minister for Public Works, Housing and Transport, Mabel Cabrer who had said that government policy is not going to change in spite of the demonstration. A lesson from history is necessary to remind Mabel Cabrer and her peers in the Popular Party, that in the past, another highway development plan was boycotted which was just as legitimate as the current one said Rayó who further warned the minister than the voting public only respect politicians who are prepared to listen to them.
MAIN OBJECTIONS l LEGAL subterfuge to accelerate urban development l LEGAL changes in environmental policies leading to unsustainable growth l CONTEMPT of legitimate organisations representing the views of ordinary people l FLIGHT from public debate on the consequences of government development plans l TEACHERS claim they can't hold up present government behaviour as an example to their students l PUBLIC WORKS minister says the demonstration won't alter government plans
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