We have learned that Arubans are capable of peaceful civil disobedience and are capable of protest. They are capable of protesting against those that would endanger nature conservation and over-build hotels on Aruba. This they find important. The fact that their island’s economy has been in a downward spiral since 2005 and continues to flounder is somehow an unimportant issue to protest. The fact that an American tourist, Natalee Holloway, went missing on their island and the investigation that followed bordered on a joke at best is somehow not worthy of their protest.
Thank you for letting us know what really is important in Aruba.
Amigoe, June 5, 2007: Demonstration to keep Arashi
ORANJESTAD – More than 75 people took part in the protest meeting for the preservation of the coastal area Arashi and for the nature conservation in this area. The action was organized by Stimaruba. The instance did this as a result of recent reports about plans to build a hotel near Punto Arashi.
Stimaruba says that a February 2006 publication of Coastal Zone Management, a public-private project for the conservation of coast and sea, mentions that the area is intended for recreation only. Besides, Stimaruba is of the opinion that the island has sufficient hotels already. Considering the plans, it seems like there doesn’t come an end to the build of more hotels and apartments. Tourists do not really like a destination with a lot of traffic, and with that increasing CO2-emission and more and more roads that need to be maintained. According to Stimaruba-chairwoman Olinda Rasmijn, Arashi is the only reasonable unspoiled area where not only the locals go to enjoy, but also tourists; this area is also the breeding place for some species of birds that have disappeared from the rest of the island.
The protest meeting was held on the parking lot near the beach of Arashi and started at 11:00. Several members of Stimaruba gave speeches on the preservation of the area. After that, the public were given the opportunity to say something. “Since the nineties, we as Aruban citizens had to make way for hotels. The only beaches that are left for us to go to are the far-off ones like Arashi and Baby Beach . But we are the ones that have been allowing this all along. When we are talking about pollution, we have to look at ourselves. The Aruban citizen suffers from the Nimby-syndrome (Not in my backyard)”, said one of the protestors.