Malfunctions on the program

Despite a ban on demonstrations, Spanish protest movements plan to hold on to a planned rally just before the pope's visit to Madrid.

The objections raised by the authorities are "ridiculous," Luis Vega, president of the Madrid Association of Atheists and Freethinkers (AMAL), told Spanish radio RNE on Wednesday. "We do not want to provoke, nor are we violent," Vega said.

The government had ordered the stone, which was intended for the 17. August protest march banned because planned route would pass too close to World Youth Day venues in Madrid city center and clashes between Catholic youth and Pope's opponents feared. Pope Benedict XVI. will be placed on 18. August expected in the Spanish capital.

The proposal of a more distant and much shorter alternative route was rejected by about half of the 140 protest movements involved Wednesday. They will hold the rally as planned, the organizations explained. According to media reports, the Spanish central government's representation for the Madrid region replied that they would "use all the means at our disposal to maintain order".

Protest against food
The protest by the atheist, secular and reformist Christian groups is directed, among other things, at the cost to the state of organizing and providing security for the four-day papal visit, they said. The organizers of World Youth Day, on the other hand, point to tax revenues in the tens of millions of euros from World Youth Day visitors.

Meanwhile, members of the protest movement "Real Democracy Now" also want to!" Demonstrate against the Pope's visit. They are unhappy that their protest camps in Madrid's central Puerta del Sol square have been evicted because of World Youth Day, according to media reports. While the criticism of the youthful "indignados" (indignant) is mainly directed against high unemployment, corruption and the austerity measures of the Spanish government, some groups want to protest against sexual abuse by Catholic clergy during the days of the pope's visit.

Other groups, according to media reports, announced they would occupy public schools that serve as accommodations for World Youth Day participants. Homosexual associations plan to stage "mass kissing" over Catholic criticism of same-sex marriages possible in Spain.

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