Saturday, April 21, 2012

Grand Prix of Bahrain to run despite crackdown on dissent

Tomorrow morning the Formula One Grand Prix of Bahrain will be run. At the same time the Bahraini security forces will be out trying to quell dissent. All in a day's work for the wealthy jet set class.

Yesterday tens of thousands of protesters marched on a highway into the capital Manama. Security forces responded by firing stun grenades and tear gas into the crowds. This morning a man was found dead with gunshot wounds after overnight clashes with the police.

Last year's race was cancelled after 35 people died in anti-government protests during the Arab Spring.
"I think for those of us who are trying to navigate a way out of this political problem, having the race allows us to build bridges across communities, get people working together." Crown Prince Salman bin Hamad Al Kahlifa
Not that Bernie Ecclestone, the head of the international sanctioning body for Formula One, gives a rat's ass about anything other than the money that will be lining his pockets. He said this year's race will go ahead after assurances from the repressive regime that there will be no security issues during the race weekend.

All the race will do is add an air of legitimacy to an anti-democratic regime that has repressed its citizens mercilessly over the years. The fact that the international racing community has no compunctions about running the race speaks volumes about those involved.

Just remember, this is the same body that continued to race in South Africa long after the rest of the international community had already shunned the apartheid regime.

Enjoy your riches, Bernie, just don't think too much about who died to line your pockets.

No comments: