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(en) anarquistas Gran Canaria: Canarias, the largest prison in the State (ca, de, it, pt)[machine translation]

Date Wed, 7 Apr 2021 09:56:14 +0300

The geographical location of the Canary Islands places it naturally on the usual migration routes to leave the continent. Its location in the Atlantic has also made it a tricontinental connection point, a historical place of passage on the journey from Europe to America. The volume of Canarian emigration was enormous from the 16th to the 20th century and even today it maintains notable diasporas in countries such as Cuba, Puerto Rico or Venezuela (called for a long time in the Canary Islands "the eighth island"). The claim that there were more canaries living off the islands than on them was commonplace at the beginning of the last century.
The foregoing could give us to understand that in the Canary Islands the migratory phenomenon is understood naturally, but unfortunately, and at least currently, this is not the case. The islands are experiencing a situation of collective dissociation from their own geographical, social and political reality. State education, media bombardment, daily propaganda, government policies, have caused a high percentage of the Canarian population to develop a strong European identitarianism. In the Canary Islands we live with our backs to the African continent, even though we are only 95 km from it. The idea of being one of the last colonies in Europe is not something to be confronted with. The fact that the archipelago is one of the most impoverished territories in "political Europe", with a higher rate of unemployment, evictions, social exclusion and child poverty has not, paradoxically, prevented that Eurocentrism, the pro-colonial mentality, Spanish nationalism or insular chauvinism and xenophobia prevail. We have been educated, from school, to be proud of being "second-class Europeans" and to point out, in the face of any economic or social crisis, poor foreigners.

The migratory phenomenon is not studied in depth, nor does it interest the public authorities to understand its causes. There is talk endlessly about "mafias" and "human trafficking", but never about refugees from armed conflicts, workers fleeing extreme poverty, people fleeing political or religious persecution. Interestingly, it is omitted that human trafficking is an effect of migration and not its cause, and that it must be found in situations that have promoted or directly caused the European powers such as wars, desertification or the plundering of the natural resources of the countries of origin.

The real data on immigration shed even more light. It is estimated that between 2020 and the beginning of 2021, some 25,000 migrants from the African continent have arrived on the islands. The local government has in its "custody" only about 10,000 of them. About 2,000 were able to reach the peninsula (the goal of the vast majority) and between 500-600 have been directly deported. Approximately 12,000 are outside the so-called "official host network" 1. The media have shown endlessly images of migrants frolicking in the island's hotels, but what has been said less is that many of them have spent up to 3 weeks abandoned in the port of Arguineguín (in the south of Gran Canaria ), without any type of hygienic condition, cursing and eating badly, with no other cover than a simple canvas over their heads. Nor has it been said that many of them have already been expelled from the hotels and that they now subsist in subhuman conditions, practically in the open, in the ravines of Gran Canaria. It is even less interesting to know where and under what conditions some of the 12,000 people who have not fallen into the hands of the State are. It is taken for granted that many were able to escape to the peninsula, but we know perfectly well that the survival of some of them (certainly a minority within the global count) is being guaranteed in networks of mutual support outside the institutions. Rehousing and food self-sufficiency projects such as those initiated by the FAGC (which currently house more than 200 migrants in situations of government persecution) demonstrate the ineptitude of the institutions and their disastrous management of comparatively huge resources.

The Government of the Canary Islands (quadripartite left) does not speak of "humanitarian emergency", but of "health risk" and dehumanizes migrants who go from being people to being "a problem". The pandemic, that wild card with which any repressive measure has been justified for a year, serves to further limit the movement of migrants and prescribe most social interactions. Meanwhile, the obligation to produce and consume remains intact, and allows workplaces, shopping centers and classrooms to remain open without anyone establishing a relationship between capitalism and contagion. Questioning the system and its contradictions becomes complex and unnecessary when you have a scapegoat.crisis or to applaud their policies. No one ignores that linking Covid and migration is a fallacy and an exercise in hatred, but it is much more electorally profitable to establish this interested connection than to recognize that the main international transmission route of the virus has been tourism (the first case of the Spanish State was precisely a tourist on the island of La Gomera 2 ).

Racism does not come spontaneously out of nowhere. It is learned. Children are not innately racist. They are when they are taught to be. And in this case the Canarian people are receiving a crash course in racism and xenophobia from the institutions. The manifestations of street racism are a reflection of the manifestations of institutional racism. It is a process that runs from the offices to the neighborhoods. When the police violently dissolve any unauthorized public event but are tolerant, and even complicit, with racist protests, the message for the population is clear: xenophobia is a matter of "good citizens".

Many media outlets have been essential to the success of this dirty disinformation war. Political calculations have been stronger than responsibility and rigor and an anti-immigration campaign has been launched that could end in an escalation of racist violence of priceless proportions and consequences. They feed their columns and newscasts with hoaxes taken directly from social networks and distort any daily conflict between migrants until they turn it into a ready-made "news". They speak, without shame, of "avalanche" or directly of "invasion" to refer to some 25,000 people; no similar term has ever been used to refer to the more than 15,000,000 tourists that we have received annually 3 .

Interestingly, it is silenced that a large part of these migrants are actually prisoners of the State. It is silenced that many of them have not been able to use either their passports or their tickets for their true objective: to reach Europe. It is silenced that the cause of all this is that the central government (that so "leftist" coalition between PSOE and UP) has turned the Canary Islands into a huge prison to prevent human beings, too dark for their liking, from roaming its white Europe. It is silenced that the same Europe that has decided to dispense with the borders between the member countries, for purely commercial purposes, is the one that is pressing so that the invisible wall that they have erected before the African continent does not fall. It is silenced that in this Europe markets are infinitely freer than people.

And while all this is happening, a large part of the people is putting into practice the imperialist lesson that has been burned for centuries: in times of uncertainty and crisis it is always easier to hit the bottom than the top.

The great success of capitalism, the State and its coercive forces, is that an impoverished and depleted population looks for those responsible in their own class and not among those who govern and exploit them. Canarian poverty has not been caused by migration. It has been caused by an economy that has been completely colonized since before the English imposed tomato cultivation on us. It has been caused by the current tourist "monoculture", which only enriches the lobbyhotelier and the speculators of Vacational Housing, while the working class only receives precariousness and chronic unemployment. It has been caused by a completely outsourced economy, which forces us to serve and does not allow us to create anything. It has been caused by a political class that has given all our resources to the multinationals, which has allowed that rural land has been in the hands of a few aristocratic families for centuries and that urban land, including neighborhoods, has spent the last decade in the hands of the banks and from these to the vulture funds. Poverty has a name and a face, and also those who generate it.

On the other hand, the advance of racist and fascist positions has not been able to counteract by some Canarian social movements that on many occasions are disconnected from their immediate reality. Some do not have any direct relationship with the working class to which they are directed or do not know more formulas of interaction than those of folklore. Many can understand the urgency of overthrowing the "Gag Law" that represses people for their ideology, but very few the urgency of loading the "Immigration Law" that represses people because of their place of birth. Others have resigned for years to engage in any direct confrontation with the administration and have no other claim horizon than the next grant. They tell us that racism and fascism are fought at the polls or in dialogue with the enemy. There are those who even

We believe that our people, our class, and that includes those who were not born here or speak our fucking language, defend it day by day, on the chopping block, on the street, sharing with them the tools that they need. allow us to remain alive and free. We do not want to establish any dialogue with fascism, nor persuade it, nor convince it, nor defeat it in the field of ideas. We believe that fascism is not disputed; it bursts. Therefore, in order not to leave a micron of land, we continue to create free and self-managed spaces. We continue to promote shelters that house human beings who are today being persecuted for their skin color, ethnicity or place of origin. We continue to socialize abandoned lands so that these families, among which there is a significant percentage of minors, can cultivate and feed themselves. We continue to recycle and repair electrical appliances so that they have hot water and a clean break that has not been guaranteed in the "camps of shame" set up by the State. We also continue to learn and accumulate knowledge, such as new ways of farming, steps to follow to make homemade ovens, recipes with which to make bread for hundreds of people, new methods to isolate buildings and a long etcetera. But above all, we remain convinced that the earth has no name, that borders are a crime for which our grandchildren will one day judge us and that there is no country, flag or collective identity that is worth fucking shit compared to any life.


1 Data from TVC news programs (1/28/21).

2 "A German tourist, first case of coronavirus in Spain", El Periódico (3/10/20).

3 La Voz de Lanzarote (3/27/18) speaks of 16 million on average and Europa P ress (2/2/20) of 13 million in 2019.

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