More struggle, more resistance and solidarity with migrants!

Khadija Ainani

More struggle, more resistance and solidarity with migrants!

“Dreams shall drown no more!” – The Caravan Opening Borders, 2019. Credits:

The border around Ceuta and Melilla,1 is characterized by tight surveillance by Morocco and Spain, by barbed-wire fences, and by the continued presence of Moroccan and Spanish forces to prevent migrants from passing to the other side. There are hundreds of migrants from sub-Saharan Africa in the areas near the border, in the nearby town of Nador and in the forest of Ghourougou.

The walls surrounding the two cities are no different from what is happening in many parts of the world. This makes our struggle to build bridges instead of walls a joint struggle, which must include the battle for free movement and the right of migrants and refugees that have fled miserable and inhumane conditions in their original countries to live where they choose.

The closure of the border between Morocco and Spain and the construction of walls only complicate and worsen the situation. Many migrants try to climb over the wall and are seriously injured by the sharp blades. Others search for different more dangerous ways to reach Europe, such as crossing by the sea. This puts them at risk of death by drowning. Many also fall victim to migrant trafficking.

The walls around Ceuta and Melilla were financed by Spain and built with Moroccan approval. For years, Morocco has acted as the policeman in order to monitor the southern borders of the European Union, especially the Spanish border, in exchange for funding from the European Union. What we have to do as civil society and defenders of migrants’ rights is to build strong solidarity with migrants, uniting our struggles and working to challenge these laws and procedures that try to prevent migrants from crossing borders. We have to fight to ensure respect for migrants fundamental rights, including their right to movement, and to force states to repeal laws that criminalize migration. We need true solidarity with migrants.

We cannot build another world, a world without walls, if we cannot unite our struggles and resist all policies that work to curb migration and impose criminal laws. We have to build pressure to guarantee respect for human rights and migrants rights and expose all measures taken by the countries in the global north to tighten border controls.

1 The Spanish enclaves of Ceuta and Melilla are located on the northern shores of Morocco’s Mediterranean coast. Together they form the European Union’s only land borders with Africa.