Thousands of people have been marching through the streets of many Spanish cities to protest at the government's mishandling of the tanker Prestige disaster off the coast of Galicia. In Madrid and Barcelona the demonstrations have passed the 50'000 mark. Surely the efforts of all these people would be better spent on travelling to Galicia and helping with the clean-up operation or collecting funds for the hard pressed fishermen whose livelihood has been destroyed. I am not a great fan of demonstrations. During my time as a reporter I was always amazed how protest marches always attracted the same people. One week they would be protesting against government cuts in education and the following week they would be marching to save the whale. Valuable police resources and money have all been spent on policing these nationwide actions. This money would have been better spent on Galicia. The Prestige affair is one of Spain's worst environmental disasters and there is much work still to be done. The politicial questions can be asked later. What we should all be doing now is trying to help the people of Galicia by supporting their devastated fishing industry and by providing moral support. Demonstrations may grab the headlines but they do little to clear the fuel which is coming ashore off Galicia. Use your energies for more productive things and don't just waste valuable time on pointless marches which show what everyone already knows; that the government has completely mishandled the situation.

Jason Moore

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