The 4th of December was a day that will be remembered by many here in Tanger. A police raid in the Doha Boukhalef region caused the violent death of Cédric, a man from Cameroon. Exact details remain unclear but his body bearing fatal head wounds was carried over 2km from Doha Boukhalef in the direction of the city centre in a spontaneous manifestation by the migrant community.
Rising up and taking the streets in their hundreds, migrants marched demanding these deaths stop, carrying his body aloft so as not to let his death be ignored. They succeeded in their goal, and the clashes with police and racist Moroccans during the manifestation ensured that the city paid attention to what evil things had occurred in their own city.
When riot police blocked their path migrants broke through their lines time after time, and had the police on the run with stones and crowd charges. Well over a thousand young Moroccan men gathered to watch and some groups of them attacked the march with stones many times. Migrants, Moroccan bystanders and a chief of police were hit by these missiles.
Migrants made their message loud and clear last night, showing fearless resolve and strength. By the sheer power of their manifestation they forced this issue into the national news ensuring this cannot be kept quiet. Outnumbered and against all odds they stood strong and made their message loud and clear.
This death comes only a month since the death of Moussa Seck, a 19 year old man from Senegal, in very similar circumstances.
The police raids that are to blame are part of a campaign against the migrant community of Tanger, causing the area of Doha Boukhalef to be a dangerous and stressful place to live. Forced removal from the city to Oujda, Rabat and Casablanca is common, as are beatings, and broken down doors.
All this illegal police activity is clearly linked to the EU border protection program, through which repression in ‘buffer zone’ states like Morocco is part of an overall strategy. Moroccan police are acting as agents of the EU in effect, when they conduct these harassing, disruptive, violent and sometimes fatal raids.
So the blood that was spilt on Tanger’s streets yesterday is the responsibility of European powers.
This ongoing situation is a dirty secret of the EU, to be kept quiet from its citizens. Let us honour the death of Cédric and the courage and strength of his community by helping make sure this story is seen and heard within the EU.
When people see the dark reality of what occurs at the fringes of their ‘first world’ lifestyle they cannot ignore the reality of the system they inhabit.
So please distribute far and wide and let the story be heard.
A slogan we have heard a lot recently from the senegalese community uses the Wolof word for police: boumla.
In solidarity with people everywhere affected by border regimes, standing side by side with our migrant comrades in the struggle here in Tanger,
No Borders Morocco