STARBASE 118 — Nearly one hundred Bolians and several dozen others staged a sit-in outside the Diplomatic Corps offices on Starbase 118 today, protesting the Cardassian practice of wearing Bolian skins as garments.
A delegation of Cardassian dignitaries arrived on Starbase 118 last night to discuss a scientific and cultural exchange with the Federation. One of the attendees at the welcome reception was Akiana Grol, a Cardassian actress and chanteuse known for her collection of clothing made from Bolian skins.
Ms Grol’s presence on Starbase 118 was made public when she was photographed arriving at last night’s welcome reception by an FNS correspondent. Within hours of her image being shown on the starbase’s news feed, the Diplomatic Corps offices were flooded with complaints from outraged Bolians. It should be noted that Ms Grol has not been seen wearing the offending garments whatsoever during her stay on the Starbase.
Historically, Bolian skin was prized among Cardassians for its durability and distinctive color, and although it has been illegal to manufacture or trade Bolian skin clothing in the Cardassian Union for nearly a century, existing garments are highly valued as symbols of status, and passed down from generation to generation.
Earlier today, the Councilor of the Bolian Central Council released a statement that read in part, “We will never forget the disturbing Cardassian practice of murdering Bolians and wearing their skins, and we will never stop speaking out against those who continue to possess them. The presence of Ms Grol at a Federation-sponsored cultural exchange dishonors the memory of our people who were lost to such barbarism.”
By mid-morning, over one hundred people had arrived to protest at the Diplomatic Corps offices on Starbase 118. Starfleet security personnel were called in to maintain order, but the event remained peaceful and no arrests were made. Shortly after 1600 hours, a representative of the Diplomatic Corps addressed the demonstrators. Reading from a prepared statement, the diplomat said that the Federation and Cardassia both have long condemned such practices, and that such problems are exactly what cultural exchanges are meant to solve. No questions were taken after the statement was read.
Later in the day, the Diplomatic Corps published this reply from the office of the Cardassian Ambassador to the Federation: “The Cardassian Union stands with all intelligent species in its value of life, and in regret of the uncivilized behaviors of its forbears. We affirm now, as we affirmed nearly one hundred years ago, that such a vulgar practice has no place in Cardassian society. We can only hope that our people will not be judged by the boorish behavior of a very small minority, insistent on causing controversy.”
Ms Grol is one of fourteen Cardassians, publicly known to wear Bolian skins, that have been declared personae non gratae on Bolarus IX. At press time, she had not responded to our requests for comment.
Despite the longstanding ban in Cardassia, the Federation has confirmed reports of Cardassians illegally producing Bolian skin garments as recently as the early 2380s. It was believed that the large number of Bolians in the Maquis, which the Cardassians obliterated with the assistance of the Dominion in 2373, contributed to a revival in production and trading of skins.
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