About twenty people demonstrated on Saturday on the Greek holiday island of Rhodes against animal cruelty in general and cruelty against donkeys in particular.
On several Greek islands, donkeys are used to transport tourists. The best known example of that is in the city of Lindos. The famous white city on Rhodes is built around the ancient Acropolis on top of the mountain.
You can only reach the Acropolis after a long and steep climb. That is why donkeys are being used to carry tourists to the Acropolis and back. They are called the ‘Lindos Taxis’.
The demonstration against the ‘Lindos Taxis’, organized by animal welfare group Liber Life Rhodes, started at the City Hall of Rodes Town.
“We’re not only aiming on government measures against the abuse, but we also want to make the tourists aware,” Triantafillia Mavrou, member of Liber Life Rhodes, told The Animal Reader. “When they refuse to ride the donkeys, the abuse will stop by itself. No customers, no business.”
Although the donkeys are in Lindos, the protest took place in Rhodes town. And with reason, Mavrou said: “It is quite dangerous for us to be in Lindos. The people that own the donkeys can be very aggressive”.
After about half an hour, the protesters moved to the nearby Mandraki Harbour, a tourist hot spot, where they got a lot of attention from passing tourists.
Most tourists agree with the protesters. Like Anne and Paul Fleming from Northern Ireland. Paul: “We fully support this, animals shouldn’t be treated this way. And donkeys have a special place in our hearts as we support a donkey shelter back home”.
Vincent Journee, a Belgian tourist, knows exactly what the protest is about: “We have been to Lindos yesterday and have seen the donkeys and what is being done to them. Of course, we didn’t go up on a donkey, although it’s a hard climb. This is a very noble action”.
After about two hours and talking to a lot of tourists, the protest ends. “This will definitely not be the last one. We are going to be here every month,” Mavrou said, satisfied with the first demonstration.
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