‘No F1 over our blood’: protesters warn ahead of Bahrain Grand Prix

Manama: Thousands of protesters including men of all ages, children and women dressed in burquas staged a protested against the 2012 Bahrain Grand Prix, which is scheduled for the weekend.

The protest took place in Al Dair, a small Shi’ite village, north east of Manama, and near the airport, The Telegraph reports.

The protest was reportedly ‘peaceful and joyful’ as opposed to the Salmabad protest on Monday where tear gas was used to disperse protesters.

With the Grand Prix coming up this weekend, Dr Ala’a Shehabi, an activist, revealed that many activists had been rounded up over the past few days. She mentioned that one of her colleagues, a 19-year-old student, had slept in three different houses over the past three nights after police came looking for him.

She had met with F1 chief executive Bernie Ecclestone in London earlier this year in an effort to have the race cancelled. A protester said, “I love F1. But not over our blood. They are forcing it on us.”

According to reports, the people of Bahrain are not concerned whether the race would be vital for the economy of the country as they insisted that average Bahraini would see little of the 400-500 million dollars which the Bahrain GP organisers are estimating to generate.

“There is still torture, still discrimination. Everything we fought for on Feb 14 last year. It’s still just the same,” Human rights activists said, referring to the reforms promised by Bahrain’s rulers.

Bahrain authorities have been at pains to reassure the F1 community that safety will not be an issue this week as most of the participants felt it was risky to be in the country where massive protests were on and were considering being a part of the grand event.


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