By Humphrey Carter
OVER 130.000 people marched through Palma last night calling for an end to terrorism.
The rally, the biggest ever to have taken place in the Balearics was led by the Balearic president Jaume Matas, leading politicians and dignitaries carrying a massive banner expressing solidarity for the victims of Thursday's massacre in Madrid, in support of the Constitution and the defeat of terrorism. People from all walks of life, all races and cultures, young and old started to gather in the Plaza de España from 5.30 onwards. By 7pm, the time the march started, thousands of people were still flocking off the free trains and busses, stacking up for kilometres along the Avenidas to take part in the march. Most of the city centre shops closed their doors at 6.30, not only to enable staff to attend the rally, but also as a sign of respect for the victims of 11-M. At 7.50, tens of thousands of people were still rooted to the spot in the Plaza de España as a national Police helicopter buzzed overhead and tight security controlled the area. Every few minutes, the rally would break out into spontaneous applause in support of the victims of terrorism, not only in Spain but world wide. Chants of “Basta Ya” (enough) resounded round the streets of Palma and banners calling for an “end to terrorism” and “no more lies” flew high above the marchers who wound there way to the finish point in the Parc de la Mar where a mass rally was held. Many of the thousands of people were either listening to the radio reports of the rallies being held across the Balearics and Spain, keeping one another informed of the millions who turned out to march with them across the country. Others relayed the latest new reports, especially the latest claims as to who was responsible for Thursday's attacks in the capital.
For the smallest and youngest of the protesters it was all a bit overwhelming.
Some were too little to understand as they were pushed along in their prams, while others, old enough to understand were told by their parents exactly why they were marching. One mother simply told her son and daughter “we're all going to march through Palma to try and stop people being killed and create a safer world for little boys and girls like you everywhere.” Balearics President Jaume Matas and his fellow political leaders all made passionate pleas for an end to terrorism before the march started.
Surveying the massive crowd Matas said “it is blatantly clear the feelings of the Balearic people, how they reject terrorism in favour of democracy and freedom.” Balearic Homeland Minister José María Rodríguez, said “this is a historic day for the Balearics, it can not and must not be ignored.” The Minister for Public Administration, Julia García-Valdecasas, who flew to Palma especially to join the march said “terrorism has no face and there are no words to describe the Madrid bombs.” There was also a massive turn out in Minorca and Ibiza.
Police sources said that 42.000 people joined the march against terrorism in Ibiza and a total of 10.000 took part in the protests in Mahon and Ciutadella.

This evening the Bishop of Majorca, Jesús Murgui, who attended last night's march, will hold a special mass for the victims and their families at Sant Francesc basilica in Palma.

The service will start at 7.30pm.


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