Spain - 4th Walk for Dignity at Tarajal…
Four years ago, 15 persons were killed as they tried to reach the shore at Tarajal, on the coast of Ceuta (Spanish enclave in Morocco). They were almost on the beach when the police began to fire rubber bullets: the impact of the bullets, the cold, the confusion, fear and the water did the rest.
As a denunciation of this event and of all those that occur with impunity on the borders, the fourth March for Dignity took place at Tarajal, a prophetic march by all that was denounced and proclaimed during it. Little Sisters from the communities of Granada and Seville were present.
Over 500 persons came together, from different parts of Spain, persons from organisations in Ceuta and from the Temporary Stay Centre for immigrants.
We arrived early at Ceuta and the first event was a round table with three contributions:
from Sunni, a young man from Cameroon who explained his migration experience. Seeking to study in an African country where his studies would be recognised he ended up making a journey through different countries of central Africa. He arrived in Algeria, then Morocco, at the frontier with Melilla facing a barbed wire fence, and finally at Ceuta. He swam across the border and ended up unconscious in hospital; from there began another long walk. At present, he is studying Social Education and is active in the domain of the rights of migrants. When he finished his account the whole audience rose and began to applause – it last for minutes, it was a sacramental occasion.
There was also a testimony from Patricia, a woman who is committed in working for the rights of migrant persons. She gave a summary of the law case that has been opened in Ceuta for the murder of the 15 persons at Tarajal. She reminded us that the first frontiers we have are our personal ones; finally, there was a lawyer who spoke to us about the defence of human rights.
Later, the floor was open to all who were there and there were various testimonies that mentioned equality, the desire to open borders, the desires for freedom and a decent life for all persons. Seated on the floor (because there were so many people) it was not difficult for me to hear the depths of the beatitudes: blessed those who weep, those who are persecuted, the merciful, those who struggle for justice, those who seek peace …
On leaving, we all came together in the Notre-Dame d’Afrique square: there we shared a meal together, and we witnessed an immense number of gestures of welcome, of closeness and of joy that gave us a foretaste of what we would like the world to be. An article of the Rule of Life resonated in me:
‘‘We search with others for ways to create an environment where each one is called by name, invited to be creative and gradually to take part in building up the world.” (RL 19)
While we were there a security guard of the CETI appeared and immediately all the young men were cracking jokes and greeting him, full of joy at the encounter; he too said he was delighted: “These are my family.”
During the afternoon there was a peaceful walk to the Tarajal beach during which people cried out with all their heart: ‘Nobody is illegal’, ‘Welcome’, ‘Down with barbed wire on the borders’ … all with one voice, until we arrived on the beach, one of those places that have become sacred land, a place where one must take off one’s shoes, because it was there that the dreams and the lives of many persons perished, people who, seeking more life, encountered death.
Manifestos were read, balloons were released, there were songs of freedom and hope. Just as God bears our names engraved, so on these sands there are the names of those who died, who die:
Lamine Bop, Bouanama Demba, Séni Cissé, Ibrahima Cissé, Ansoumane Cissé, Ibrahim Keita, Armand, Ousman Kenzo, Oumar Ben Sanda, Yves Martin Bilong, Dabouda Dakole, Joseph Blaise, Adebayor, Oncle, Larios Fotio …..
Until when? (Ps. 12) Until how many?
Ma Mercedes Martínez and Lucía Uceda, LSA