Versión en inglés:
THE PERSECUTION AND MASS DETENTIONS CONTINUE IN MELILLA
Yesterday afternoon and evening, at least two migrants were arrested in the outskirts of the city. On Wednesday, security forces combed the city centre and the outskirts, and detained a large, but as yet unconfirmed, number of migrants. Some of them were detained in their usual places of work, as happened to our close friend Abdulah, from Guinea Bissau.
Abdulah arrived in Melilla at a difficult time, during the so-called “border fence crisis” in 2005. Abdulah is a pleasant, affable and hardworking man who helped his family with the few euros he earned washing cars outside the Post Office and helping people carry large parcels to and from the post office counters. What else could he do?
This morning, like any other day, he left the CETI on his old bicycle; on his way to work he bumped into us, and greeted us, as always, with a smile on his face. In the afternoon we received that Dreaded Phone Call, the one we really hope we never have to get, the one that confirms our worst fears about our system: “Abdulah has been arrested by the police outside the Post Office… no one is answering his phone… we don’t know anything more about where he is.” The system has swallowed him up; he has fallen victim to the version of the People Traffic practiced by European states.
Maybe someone took note that there are lots of migrants in Melilla who can wash cars. Maybe the problem was that Abdulah was laying down his roots, maybe people were getting too attached to him… This was a problem to be sorted out with a surgical solution.
In the evening, Abdulah wasn’t around anymore; all that was left of him was his bicycle chained to a post. The police asked his friends to bring his suitcase from the CETI to Police Headquarters (La Comisaría). Outside the Post Office, a number of migrants from different countries fought over who would assume Abdulah’s customary spot, so that, over the next few months, they could eke out a living washing cars, cleaning shoes and whatever else. For a bit of loose change handed over to these men people can wash their consciences clear, and sit back quietly as Fascism steamrolls through the countries of the European Union, and through Spain in particular.
We send our solidarity with a special embrace to Abdulah, a true hero and a soldier who has served now for years on the front lines of the fight against fascism and has struggled for the equality of opportunity for all those born on this planet… this planet is home to everyone born on it.