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Madrid bans Non-Secular Easter protest march

Source: El Pais - Wed 4th Apr 2012
Madrid bans Non-Secular Easter protest march

For the second year running a bid made by atheist associations to hold a march on Maundy Thursday has been denied by the central government delegation in Madrid, a decision that was backed by the regional High Court.

Luis Vega, of the Madrid Association of Atheists and Freethinkers (AMAL), said it had been decided to postpone the march until the end of the month. Last year the protest was held in May, without incident.

The five seperate organizations also based their decision to continue with their bid to hold the march later in the year on the "aggressive and anti-secular" words of police chief Ignacio Cosidó, who described Holy Week as a "dam against lay currents."

AMAL also stated that the court decision had referred to them as being "provocative."

"These are veiled threats because the police, who should be protecting us, seem to be telling us that we will suffer the consequences if we hold our march when we are peaceful people with old people and children in attendance."

Although the right for peaceful groups to march is beyond question, Tumbit is left wondering what significance the Easter period holds for non-secular groups? With Easter being a time of celebration for a number of religous groups, perhaps the authorities are justified in deeming that a non-secular group can hold their march at any other time of year?

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