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Wednesday, April 18, 2012

Why We're Giving Up On Formula-1: Bahraini Blood On Ecclestone's Hands

Image: www.guardian.co.uk
Last year FIA, the governing body of Formula-1 racing, cancelled the event after police forces in Bahrain killed 35-civilian protestors in an effort to cull quiet protestors who were taking part in the "Arab Spring" pro-democracy movement. You may recall that similar movements were successfully implemented in Egypt and Libya among others, and still ongoing in Syria where tens of thousands have been killed. Jalopnik's expose' on the millions of dollars being spent on truth-bending by the government in Bahrain sheds some detailed light on how and why Bernie Ecclestone and his crew approved the go-ahead for this year's race at the last possible moment. Well, now he has blood on his hands, well, more blood if you count the driver's who have been injured or died as a result of his often-mindless "spectacle before safety" decisions and regulations.

Today, outside an exhibit promoting this weekend's race, protestors were again assaulted, this time with flash grenades and rubber bullets. Sure it's a step down from lethal force, but these aren't party favors and are rightfully called "less-than-lethal" methods here in the US. So far 80 of approximately 200 protestors have been arrested to meet fates we can't even begin to imagine. Afterwards, in defiant ignorance, Ecclestone proclaimed Bahrain to be, "quiet and peaceful." This seems to counter statements by citizens like Nabeel Rajab who was quoted in a Guardian UK article, ""Quite often they beat me. Attack my family, attack with teargas, beat me up... we had four dead ducks in my garden because of the tear gas every day."

Image: www.guardian.co.uk
Enough is enough, we've made the personal decision that a few hours of entertainment every other week is not moral justification for supporting an organization that clearly has no regard for the sanctity of human life, and we're referring to Ecclestone and the FIA, not just the government of Bahrain. By taking money hand over fist the FIA has essentially placed it's not-so-subtle stamp of approval on the use of violence against the peaceful protestors.

"People here are getting killed, and with F1 here we feel like they are driving on our blood, on our bodies." -unnamed protestor via Huffington Post UK


One perhaps unforeseen advantage of the race actually continuing with worldwide coverage this Sunday is the fact that a massive, multi-billion dollar industry will shine it's spotlight on the region thus revealing the horrific anti-democracy acts for the whole world to see.

In the meantime, here's our not-so-subtle message to Bernie Ecclestone, Fuck you and fuck Formula-1, at least until you get your morals straight. We were really looking forward to Austin. Thanks dick.

Update: Bahrain Grand Prix; Thousands Demand Cancellation (BBC News)


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