Presentation on theme: "Beating the EU Borders In Morocco"— Presentation transcript:
1Beating the EU Borders In Morocco There are three main ways of entering Spain from Morocco: over or around the border fences at either Ceuta or Melilla or over the Straits of Gibraltar
2Barcelona Process and Neo-colonialism 1996 Conference in Barcelona between EU and Arab leaders.Arab states to protect EU external borders in exchange for development aid and preferential trade deals.Working towards eventual Euro-Mediterranean Free Trade Area: EMFTA, like NAFTA, but probably even worse.Morocco is the biggest recipient of Aid under Barcelona Process
3Morocco: Israel of West Africa EU supports Morocco’s illegal occupation of Western Sahara in exchange for help protecting borders, among other geopolitical reasonsEU is the biggest importer of fish from occupied territories. Western Sahara is also the world’s biggest exporter of phosphates to Western countries.All these trade agreements are against international law as the indigenous Saharawis are not given a say and receive no profit from them.Saharawis live either as second class citizens in their own land or as refugees in Algeria, Mauritania, or in Polisario-controlled desert areas.There is a earth wall, “Berm”2,700 separating Polisario from Moroccan territory surrounded by literally millions of landmines provided by European and other Western countries.
4Police Brutality and Racism The vast majority of transit migrants in Morocco are sub-Saharan Africans of “Black” appearance.There are between10-20,000 Black migrants in Morocco without papers.They are subject to racial profiling by police who constantly patrol the cities asking them for papers.Those found without papers are arrested, often tortured and detained without adequate food or medical care.These human rights abuses are the direct result of the EU’s payments to Moroccan police to crack down on irregular migration.Migrants report that Moroccan police simply fingerprint them, send the fingerprints to someone in Spain, and often let the migrants go once the money has been received.
5Corruption and “Deportations” to Algeria The EU money paid to Morocco to humanely deport migrants to their own countries is obviously being pocketed by Moroccan police who are well known to be incredibly corrupt, hence all the hash in Europe.Every week hundreds of detained migrants are driven to the border with Algeria near the Moroccan town of Oujda and simply abandoned in the desert without food or water.The Algerian border is supposedly closed due to bad relations between the two countries, so Algerian police make migrants walk back to Morocco down train tracks.This atrocious situation is so well-documented that EU leaders cannot reasonably claim ignorance, meaning they are knowingly complicit.
6The Cost Of Boat Crossings The cheapest boats used by migrants are inflatable dinghies that cost around 250 euros, a large ammount by African standards.In order to save up money to buy a boat most migrants hustle on the streets, where they are at constant risk of being arrested.On the streets there are also many Moroccans who shout racist abuse at them, tell people not to buy from them, or even physically assault them.These pressures lead to migrants often overloading the boats to save money, with tragic consequences.
7Migrants Will Never Give Up Frontex paid for the border fences around Ceuta and Melilla, each over 10 Km long.The outer fence is 6m high at Ceuta, 7m at Melilla, with razor wireThe inner fences are both at least 4m highSpanish Guardia Civil patrol the space between.Moroccan police and soldiers patrol the outside, throwing rocks and using clubs.Migrants attack the fences en masse so that at least some will make it over.
8Migrants Crossing Fences Need Solidarity Now More Than Ever Migrants stay in camps in the forest near MelillaEvery few weeks they try a mass attack on the fence.Those that fail to make it over often suffer severe injuries.MSF was providing medical care in the camps but they pulled out in March 2013 saying it was too dangerous.Militant activists with any kind of first aid or medical experience can play a very useful role
9Migrants’ Self-organisation and Gender Oppression Migrants are not passive victims but in fact have impressive networks of solidarity and resistance amongst themselves.They usually live collectively, sharing what food and shelter they can get fairlyIn the University of Oujda they have a whole self-organised democratic system for managing a building occupied by students in solidarity with migrants.Migrants self-organised solidarity networks are not free of gender oppression though.Women in are often abused, raped and left out of decisions affecting their own lives.It is expected that increasing numbers of women with children will migrate from West Africa in coming yearsJust 1000 pounds would be enough to set up a safe space for female migrants and their children.
10We Need Help Raising Money For: Medical supplies for migrants in the forest near the border fencesRent for a women’s safe space, including a self-managed creche if possibleSmall loans for migrants trying to hustle to save money for boats and life-jacketsIf you can help raise money or if you are interested in coming to Morocco to help with these projects, please get in touch at: beatingborders.wordpress.com for more info