Local residents were dismayed when the news reached them that the gardens and trees beside Cinema Amal at R'cif were under threat. As one local resident said "Some business people want to clear the gardens so that there can be more parking."
The demonstration started small
If this is indeed the plan, then it has run into stiff opposition. The shade giving trees and small garden beds are a favourite resting place for hundreds of women and children. In summer the children play in the square behind the garden, the women sit and chat and the men frequent the popular local cafes. Often people use the space right up until midnight.
In recent times the traffic system has improved, with a local bus stop and turning circle for tourist coaches. While car parking has been a problem, other alternatives exist, such as increasing the parking back towards Ziat.
As the protesters repeated over and over "It is a shame, a shame. We need a green future, not a concrete one."
The crowd continued to grow through the morning
The demonstration began around 8.30 am and slowly the crowd grew, with not only local residents, but also some of the business people from the area. With megaphones and banners, the protesters continued their protest for some hours, gathering an increasingly large crowd.
Local businessman Dris said "I hope the authorities are listening. We need trees more than we need more cars."
Hopefully the authorities will listen to the voice of the local people.
(Reporting: Sanae. photo credit: Carrie Hauxwell)