Little Guantanamo in Mauretania

Another ridiculous migration project is to be found in Nuadibu, in North Mauretania. Here the Spanish army built a reception center for migrants that were sent back by Spain from the Canary Islands. Amnesty International now calls it Little Guantanamo. QA group of 35 Spanish soldiers arived in 2006 and in three days they renovated a school in the ouskirts of the town. Running water, three generators for electricity, three huge tents with 350 toilets, a kitchen, showers, etc. They got a decoration for the job.
They refused to make the walls hire and put barbed wire on them, as the Mauretanian authorities demanded. “This is not a prison, said the captain.” A guy of the Office for International Cooperation commented: “The risk is not that the migrants escape, but that Mauretanians enter.” All around the place are shacks with no water or electricity. The inhabitants had to walk several kilometers to fetch water.
They entered the center the moment the Spaniards left. They took away everything, except for a generator that had never worked anyway. Also they made the walls higher and put barbed wire on them. Most of the hard ware ended up in the hands of the Mauretanian military. “How can our soldiers be out in the rough weather, while these criminals sleep in beds?”
Now the guards open the gates of Little Guantanamo where tens of immigrants are staying, and let in the children of the neighbourhood to fetch water. And Amnesty demands an explanation from the Spanish government for building this prison.

Virtual museum tip.

Jo, Welcome in Madrid

In Madrid we have a . (Spanish)
And a radio programme on wednesday evening, from 21.30 till 22.30 (No borders). Alcira interviewed me
And the (Black Panthers): auto-integration of the Afro-Spanish tribe. Music, Video and Party!

And I found this poem:

Je suis étranger, je pleure
I’m a stranger, I cry

Je suis un noir et j’en suis fier
Je le dis, ma couleur de peau soulève de colère
Je suis un sans papier, j’ai la rage
Je le dis, ma situation politique dérange
Je gagne ma vie dans la rue, je regrette
pourtant je ne veux pas d’ennui
Il faut que je le crie, je suis un cabris mort
Tu peux éguiser ton couteau, j’aurais pas peur
J’ai déjà affronté la mort
Je suis venu en patera
Et, tu ne m’as pas redonner la vie
Si tu crois que je vais ceder tu as tort
Il faut que je le cris
Je l’ai déjà ecrit sur les murs de la police
Je suis un cabris mort
J’ai déjà vaincu la peur

I’m a stranger, I cry
I’m a stranger, I cry, cry

the more you move the more you learn
no matter who you are
the more you live the more you earn
no matter where you are
I know my aim,
I’m still the same;
I’m not ashamed to cry

by Ousmane El hadji NDIONE
Lavapiés, enero de 2008

I had a converstation with Ousmane, in French.
Ousmane El hadji NDIONE lives in Madrid, in the neighbourhood Lavapies. He is 27 and came from Senegal more than a year ago. He only had a transit visum, so he is in fact a “sans papiers”.
His first surprise when he came to madrid, was to meet so many Africans and so many others.

Continue reading Jo, Welcome in Madrid

Your prison is illegal

(photo: Ron Swart)

The report of Amnesty International should be made available to the inmates in the detention centers in Holland. With that message we went to the prison boat in Zaanstad and to Schiphol-Oost.
The prison system showed its authentic autistic face by not communicating at all on a human civilized level. Report (Dutch)
Only when we started friendly conversation with the detainees in the “recreational” cage at Schiphol Oost, did we get a reaction. We got away with it, so you can hear our report now.
And Pooja made this video!

We were filming the monument, when the inmates started waving and shouting at us. So we decided to make a dash to get closer to them. before they were forced to interrupt their short moment of fresh air, for communicating with normal people. Whatever that may be…

more (in Dutch) at and