Daily Racism and Oppression of Migrants in Tanger- Latest

The last few days saw the final eviction of the house inhabited by mainly Senegalese migrants, after a violent mob attacked the house over a rent dispute. Statements were made to the police from victims of the raid, and from the landlord of the property. A numbingly predictable tribunal took place in the Palacio de Justice in Tanger, where the Judge presiding ignored the migrants and ordered them to quit the house within two days.
As expected, the 20 plus residents have been having a very hard time finding a new place to live, and have encountered blatantly racist attitudes from many landlords, who have simply refused to house any ‘black people’. We are told that if we house migrants ourselves we would be risking arrest or deportation ourselves, and police have twice attended a house known to have sub-saharan guests. Currently we are helping with some funds for rent to secure a new place for the evicted migrants to stay, although our funds do not allow us to offer such help besides as an exception in these circumstances. Any donations are necessary and welcome. We hope to establish a simple means via this website for people to donate directly, soon so please watch this space.
Migrants have been experiencing sleepless and hungry nights awaiting imminent raids by the Moroccan Gendarmes.
One such raid that took place yesterday, the 23/11/2013 saw four police vans arrive in the Doha Boukhalef region of Tanger, who took away two senegalese migrants, who we believe have been taken to Oujda. Currently, we are told deportations to Algeria have stopped for the time being due to the diplomatic tension between Morocco and Algeria that exists at present. Still Oujda is notoriously bad for migrants, who arrive with nothing and face more intense oppression there. Still no one from our network has visited Oujda, but we hope to be able to report from there soon.
Migrants tell us that without European witnesses, violence from the police during raids is common, and people can be taken and moved to Oujda even if their refugee papers are up to date and they are technically legal.
Neighbours of the deceased Moussa Seck told us that he ran from police, carrying his inflatable boat with him, through the apartment building he lived in. He was sure that if he was caught at that point the police would have given him a potentially fatal beating, and so he desperately tried to escape via a window, from which he fell to his death, from the fourth floor. They tell me he was 19 years old.
Migrants also recount a story of a man who jumped from a bus that was taking him to Oujda. He protested that he had papers and he had the right not to be moved to another region, which was ignored. Indesperation he jumped from the moving bus and sustained an injury. A lot of fighting broke out on the bus which eventually went back for him, took him to Mohammed V Hospital in Tanger, where he was neglected entirely by the staff until he died.
Other people living near there tell us of Migrants who have dies from racist violence or sickness, and could have been saved if the hospital had not ignored there needs and simply put other people ahead of them in the queue and left them to die.
There are a few notable exceptions to the extreme and pervasive racism that can be witnessed here at all times. Immediately where I myself live, Nigerians and local business owners seem to be very friendly and well integrated, and even in the neighborhood where the raids took place, a local Moroccan woman smiled at us as police vans passed by and said- ‘Police- Haram!’ Haram means forbidden in Arabic, and although we couldn’t understand other things she said, she clearly wanted to express her sympathy and solidarity.
Around the neighborhood in Doha that is so regularly raided, many groups of migrants live with regular police raids. Graffiti on the walls tells the tale of people who have passed through there and made their way to Spain. ‘Dem-Rek Tarifa’ (Wolof for ‘only to Tarifa’ (Spain) ‘Fuck Boumla’ Boumla meaning police in Wolof, and Fuck used because police supposedly do not understant English words. ‘Section Doundou’ is sprayed in large letters on walls, apartment hallways and bedroom walls, by a group who first used the term to refer to teams of people living like family and striking for Spain for a better life. A direct translation would be ‘Group Life’.
Every day we encounter migrants displaying extreme resilience, community strength and persistence in the face of ever present abuse and threat.
Long Live the Migrant Community of Tanger, Long Live Their Hopes and Dreams.


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