In Paris, police were called in on Thursday (15 November) to stop Moroccan protestors from breaking up a special Communist Party meeting.
In Paris, police were called in on Thursday (15 November) to stop Moroccan protestors from breaking up a special Communist Party meeting. The aim of the meeting was to launch an aid campaign for the people of the troubled Western Sahara.
SYNOPSIS: The trouble flared outside the meeting as Communist Party members from France, Italy and Spain met to discuss ways to help the African country.
The flag of the Polisario--an Algerian-backed guerrilla movement, was ripped by the protestors, who are pressing for the Western Sahara to remain under Moroccan control. Police were called in to prevent the demonstration from getting out of hand.
Inside the meeting, French Communist Party Secretary General, Georges Marchais, spoke of what he termed Moroccan mercenaries. He claimed they had been paid to try to wreck the meeting.
With the protest quelled, the audience were told that solidarity was needed to mount a campaign of medical aid for the people of the Western Sahara. Monsieur Marchais said the realities of the ....desert war, where the Western Saharans wanted independence, and Morocco was determined to regain control, was causing extreme suffering. A week before, a mobile force of some seven thousand Moroccans, backed by artillery, rocket-launchers and tanks, with fighter plane support, had pressed forward in a new offensive against the Polisario.
The audience was told the Western Saharans had managed to organise some sort of relief programme through help from friendly countries. A hospital has already been built with money from the Franco-Saharan Medical Association, but Monsieur Marchais said special equipment was still needed to ease medical problems.
It was not known how many arrests police made during the demonstration.