Thousands protest in Madrid, Spain against Morocco’s oppression in Western Sahara.

MADRID, Nov13,2010(SPS) — Thousands of people demonstrated in Madrid on Saturday against Morocco’s recent attack that has left tens of people dead , thousands injured and many others were missing in occupied city of Laayoune.

Many protesters blamed Spain for not taking a firmer stance against human rights abuses by Morocco’s police and army in the territory.

The demonstration organized by the Coordination of Spanish Associations of Solidarity with the Saharawi People (CEAS) in collaboration with the presentation of Polisario Front in Spain.

Demonstration organizers said in a statement that the Moroccan government had sent in soldiers and police to quash legal demands to mark the 35th anniversary of the territory’s annexation by Morocco.

Among those protesting on Saturday was Hollywood actor Javier Bardem, as well as Spanish lawmakers, political parties and other political, civil rights and trade union leaders.

“There’s a lot of people here as you can tell, just to condemn the violation of human rights in Sahara and to try to make the international community and especially the government of Spain understand that diplomacy is about human rights,” Bardem said.

Protesters on the streets of Madrid chanted and carried banners, demanding Morocco quit of the Western Sahara that it has annexed since 1975 after Spain withdrew from the area.

They marched about a mile (2 kilometres) from Atocha railway station to downtown Sol square carrying banners saying “Morocco out of the Sahara, 35 years of occupation is enough”, “Morocco guilty, Spain responsible,” and “Free western Sahara.”

“The reason for this protest is to ask our government, as former occupying power of Western Sahara, to resolve this conflict,” said Juan Carlos Caballero, 46, president of the North Madrid association of friends of the Saharawi people.

Banners from many parts of Spain could be seen at the demonstration which also included live music and street performers dressed in the red, green, black and white of the Saharawi flag. (SPS)


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