Thursday, January 25, 2007

Sahrawis hassled at World Social Forum

So much for Sahrawis taking a much-needed vacation in the Kenyan sun. According to a letter signed by several Sahrawi organizations, a workshop at the World Social Forum about the Western Sahara was disrupted by Moroccan demonstrators.

The letter says, "a group of Moroccans violated the Saharawi workshop, provoking a fight with the moderator, Mr. Fernando Peraita, Member of the Task Force and hindering his attempts to bring order back". Unable to continue their workshop, the Sahrawis requested the Forum's organizers send an official representative to discourage further Moroccan disruption.

As with all things, it's important to be careful about disinformation from either side, including your own. Still, I think the Sahrawis are telling the truth. Several organizations signed the letter, and ARSO linked to it. Moreover, I've heard of other Western Sahara meetings that have been threatened by Moroccan agitators.

The Moroccans at the World Social Forum had a right to say how they felt about the Western Sahara even if the similar rights of Sahrawis are denied inside the territory. Neither side, though, should be allowed to use violence or disruptive activities to silence its opposition.

1 comment:

  1. Anonymous4:37 PM

    Also in regards to people who have good times because they go to Ghana [I have no feelings for Ghana to tell you the truth- and don't wish to comment on Katie's blog because Anna and I settled things via AIM last night & I wouldn't want her to think I'm anti-Anna (because I'm not)]Mike Hynson, Robert August, and Bruce Brown all traveled there in The Endless Summer and I'm pretty sure it was a crucial part of their tour of Africa. And because they surfed there, I have benefited as I learned where Ghana and other coastal places of Africa are on a map and could therefore pass my geography quiz in the 9th grade.
    -A. Roberts