Valencia welcomes abortion ship.

At the invitation of more than 30 Spanish organizations, the Women on Waves ship docked in the harbour of Valencia. The Catholic anti-abortion rights groups failed to fulfill their promise to prevent the ship from entering the harbour. The major of Valencia, Rita Barberá, denounced the ship’s visit as a provocation.
More than 500 people attended the manifestation to celebrate the arrival of the ship even though police imposed a last minute ban on the artistic and musical parts of the manifestation. The Dutch parliamentarian Chantal Gill’ard of the Socialist party and the Spanish actrices Isabel Requena Pallares and Pilar Bardem addressed the crowds.

As the boat arrived to the cheers of the crowd, a small harbor motorboat tried to stop them from docking. What happened next was kind of a cross between a water-ballet and a wrestling match between the boats, with Rebecca hopping from one to another, and the crowd of supporters pulling the boat in on a rope, in a tug-of-war with the harbor boat. After lots of back and forth, the boat was finally able to dock.

There had been a program of music and dance planned for the opening ceremony, but the local authorities were looking for any excuse to shut down the program. The best they could do was deny permission for the artistic parts of the program, and not allow the truck in to set up the stage because its tires were a little under-inflated. Even so, the fabulous Lesbianband percussionists animated the crowd, who made more than enough noise to compensate for the lack of musical performances.


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