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(en) Southern Africa, Anarchist journal Zabalaza #9 - BRUTAL REPRESSION IN SIDI IFNI (MOROCCO) BY NORTHEASTERN FEDERATION OF ANARCHIST COMMUNISTS (USA/CANADA)

Date Sat, 13 Sep 2008 12:19:00 +0300



For a while now, the Ait Baamran, an Amazigh tribe from the area, have been
protesting their marginalisation, the delayed operation of the the new port and
all the promises of development, widespread unemployment and favoritism in
public sector hiring for the city government. In September of 2007, the boycott
of the Parliamentary elections was practically unanimous, in response to the
call made by the coalition of associations. ---- On May 30th, 2008, a large
march headed toward the port, deciding to set up an encampment to block the
entrance and stopping the refrigerated fish trucks from leaving. Since that day,
the protests continue. And frequent acts of repression: persecutions, beatings,
inspection and destruction of the shelters..... there are also deaths.

Background
On Sunday, May 15th, the caravan in solidarity with the
people of Sidi Ifni left from Guelmine and Tiznit en route
to Sidi Ifni with people from all over Morocco, from the
North, South, East and West, and with the support of the
Amazigh (Berber) movement, from all human rights organ-
isations and Left parties, more than 500 participants.
At the entrance to the city, its residents, who have main-
tained their struggle despite military occupation and isolation
of the besieged city, (women's demonstration on May 8th, sav-
agely repressed, general strike on May 12th, deserted streets, t
walked only by military boots) came out to welcome the caravan,
breaking the police fence that kept them isolated.
The march went around the entire city, more than 10 000 people
joined. (Sidi Ifni has around 20 000 inhabitants). The march went
by the neighbourhoods that suffered the police attack, the sacking
and violation of homes, the signs of these attacks could still be
seen.
The breaking of the city police barrier has been a great victory
of the solidarity caravan. Some comrades, refugees from the
mountains due to police persecution, joined in the march, taking
advantage of the caravan's entrance and gave their testimony of
what occurred on June 7th. Chants were heard demanding to
cease the police persecutions, their withdrawal from the city and to
begin dialog with the authorities.
The arrival of the march near the Moulay Ali Abdellah School
and the provocative presence of the police nearby motivated the
combative response of the youth, who have been at the front of the
struggle at all times. The violent response of the police forces fir-
ing tear gas, resulted in serious injuries to one young man. He
was hit on the head by a tear gas bomb, and was taken to Agadir
hospital where he remains in intensive care.
Finally the march coincided with the burial of Mohamed Chafai,
who died of a heart attack when the police invaded his home,
arresting his son. His burial inspired another mass march,
denouncing his death as a murder, the repression and demanding
punishment for those responsible.
In spite of all the abuses of power, of the repression against the
media (Aljazeera director, Al Massae...), of the police
fence around Sidi Ifni, of the establishment of military tent
hospitals where there is no possibility of ascertaining any
information about the state of the injured, of the restric-
tion of information in the civil hospitals, the truth con-
tinues opening the way and each time it looks
more cetain that the brutal repression of June
7th caused several deaths. In addition to the
four bodies that appeared on the beach and
are yet to be identified, King Hassan's old tactic of
the "disappeared" is returning. The deaths are
denied and the bodies don't appear so that
there is no proof. There are disappeared com-
rades whose whereabouts nobody knows:
they've fled, are in hospitals or maybe even
dead.
The caravan and the march on Sunday has
lead to, not only the breaking of the fence around the city,
but also a great dose of motivation and of morale for the pop-
ulation that came back en masse to take the streets. Now more
than ever they need solidarity and support.
The Northeastern Federation of Anarchist Communists (Nefac)
would like to express its maximum solidarity and support to the
struggle and the resistance of the Ait Baanram people of Sidi Ifni
against unemployment, the lack of social rights and the marginali-
sation of the area.
Demands:
The immediate withdrawal of the Public Order forces from the
city.
The immediate and unconditional release of the detained.
An independent investigation of the facts and prosecution of the
culprits of these abuses.
The acceptance of the legitimate grievances of the residents of
Sidi Ifni.
No more marginalisation of the Ait Baamran.
Taken from: www.anarkismo.net/newswire.php?story_id=9198)
_________________________________________
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