lunes, 4 de abril de 2011

News: 11-M. Pilar Manjón: Leave our dead alone

In memory of the 192 killed and almost 2,000 injured in the March 11, 2004 attacks in Madrid, among divisions between politicians and victims.
The 192 dead and almost 2,000 injured in the March 11, 2004 attacks in Madrid are remembered today with numerous floral offerings and tribute acts in which, however, both victims associations and politicians will be divided. Unlike in previous years’ anniversaries of the attacks, commemorated in a grand institutional act which unified the entire society – which last year was celebrated in Congress at the request of the Foundation of Victims of Terrorism – this year each association and institution has organized its own tribute, dividing representatives.
As has happened on previous occasions, these acts are not exempt from controversies and the president of the 11-M association Affected by Terrorism, Pilar Manjón, has attacked the Government of Madrid in one of its commemorative acts on the seventh anniversary of the attacks for unveiling a monument in the suburban train station El Pozo without this group. Manjón has accused the vice mayor of the capital, Manuel Cobo (PP), of treating it “with detriment and disregard” in one of the meetings they attended in order to ask the consistory erect a monument there in tribute to the victims of 11-M.
When we came to the meeting to ask to build the monument, they answered that if we had come for another ‘little monument’ for 11-M, that any day now they would have to make one for the whores of Montera,” she said during her speech at a ceremony organized by UGT, CC.OO., and the Actors Union in the Atocha Station, another of the scenes of the massacre.
The president of the association has assured that these are the exact words of Manuel Cobo and has accused the Government of Madrid of six years of standing in the way of the monument that the mayor of Madrid, Alberto Ruiz Gallardón, inaugurated “unilaterally” in the El Pozo station.
Leave our dead alone,” said Manjón to the attendees of the ceremony, which took place in Atocha, where they said that 11-M is a “closed case” after a “serious and just” trial.
Tomás Gómez, the socialist candidate for the Community of Madrid, also attended the ceremony, where he demonstrated with declarations to journalists his deep respect for Manjón’s words, as well as him sympathy and solidarity. Gómez lamented that there was no unifying ceremony and reminded us of the victims of the attacks at the base of party discrepancies. “The victims do not deserve party disputes,” he said.
For his part, the general secretary of the CCOO of Madrid, Javier López, has also said that he does not understand the reasoning for different tributes. “I do not understand why they are using 11-M to campaign and why they want to take the focus away from those who unfortunately should be the center of attention,” he stated.
Collective call against silence and obscurity
The monument unveiled in the suburban train statio in El Pozo, in tribute to the 68 people who died there March 11, 2004 and the 192 killed in the attacks that day, is made of stone, water, and flowers and includes as well the exposition of 30 works donated by Artists without Borders on a wall of the station, which will be recovered in stone. The central body is a stone megalith that symbolizes eternity, with a fountain made of 192 spouts “like 192 tears,” according to its designer, José María Pérez González ‘Peridis,’ who has defined his work as a “collective call against silence and obscurity,” because, he adds, “silence is much more painful than death itself.”
In addition, the collection is surrounded by benches and red flowers, specifically ‘sevillanas,’ so that the monument has life and people can enjoy it. The project also includes the improvement of the urban landscape surrounding the station and the installation of photovoltaic panels to generate the energy necessary for light and the water spouts. In total, it cost 708,000 euros for the State Fund for Employment and Sustainability (FEES).
Numerous acts
The day began at 9:00 with the traditional floral offering of the Community of Madrid, presided over by its president, Esperanza Aguirre, the mayor of Madrid, Alberto Ruiz Gallardón, and the leader of the PP, Mariano Rajoy, in the regional seat of the Puerta del Sol, on the facade of which is placed a memorial plaque for the victims and the Madrileños who helped them that day. Two students of the Police Academy placed a laurel wreath below the plaque. Dozens of politicians, members of emergency services, firefighters, local police, the army, as well as dozens of citizens and representatives of the victims of terrorism attended the act. They all observed a moment of silence while a segment of Mozart’s Requiem played, followed by the hymn of Spain, after which all the attendees joined in applause.
The Forest of Memory, located in the Parque del Retiro, was also the site of an emotional tribute to the 192 dead, each represented by a tree. This tribute, organized by the Association of Victims of Terrorism (AVT), consisted of a floral offering and the reading of a manifest by the victims “in defense of truth, memory, dignity, and justice.” In addition, they observed a moment of silence in memory of all the victims.
Angeles Pedraza’s group of victims also organized tributes in 17 Spanish cities in memory of all victims of terrorist attacks. In addition, the platform “Voices against Terrorism” prepared a day of memory in Alcalá de Henares at 6:00 PM Friday, involving, among others, their president and the exp-president of AVT, Francisco José Alcaraz, the mayor of Lizartza, Regina Otaola, and the ex-official of prisons José Antonio Ortega Lara.
Also, following the tradition of previous years, a committee of victims will leave at 7:00 AM from the plaza of the station at Alcalá de Henares and will travel by train the extent of the Corredor del Henares, stopping in each station to make a floral offering to the victims, and finishing at Téllez Street.

ABC 11.3.2011

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