‘Ladies in White’ Protest Blocked in Havana
by Kris Romaniuk • September 26, 2011 • News • 0 Comments
A protest march by a group called the Ladies in White was blocked by government supporters in Havana. The Ladies in White are a group made up of wive and daughters who were imprisoned in a 2003 crackdown on Cuban dissidents. In the last year, all those dissidents were freed in a deal brokered by the Roman Catholic Church, but The Ladies continue to demand the release of other dissidents.
As the BBC reports, The Ladies had been planning a march to church on the Day of Our Lady of Mercy when they met resistance by a crowd of government supporters:
Shouting insults and slogans, a crowd of hundreds massed outside the home of [The Ladies'] leader, Laura Pollan.
Government security agents looked on but did not intervene as the two groups argued. There was no violence.
Waving Cuban flags, the pro-government demonstrators shouted “Worms!” and “Get out!” at the 35 dissident women inside Laura Pollan’s House.
While the government maintains that groups of pro-government supporters “are spontaneous reactions by ordinary Cubans,” many believe that they are planned by the government to discourage and discredit dissidents.
This is the second time in two weeks that a demonstration has been thwarted in Cuba. Less than two weeks ago, over 30 dissidents were detained overnight to prevent them from organizing a demonstration.