Thank you Melilla. (Day 3 of 3)…notes from an apprentice policy changer.

Thank goodness for the IPPR’s report on Sub-Saharan Migrants in Morocco. I have read it three times and it gives an in depth background to the present troubles, the reasons for them and the outlines to reducing them, (ideally eradicating them).

I am no intellectual but I’ve got common sense. For those interested in the above subject please read on. If you are interesting primarily in the litter picking side of this blog take note that with the huge amounts of plastic and waste still littering our streets, rivers, roads, hills and waterways we might have a chance to help people. There is litter here in Melilla. It is not just Spain. It is not just Morocco. It is the UK, USA, probably every country on the Planet.

I see Migrants without work, (‘beautiful people’ are better words to describe them). I see litter everywhere. I see ‘beautiful people’ needing work, needing money, needing something worthy to do. Litter picking is ‘an’ answer…There is plenty of work but I need the money to pay them! Crowdfunding? Could be the answer. Please google ‘crowdfunding’ if you are unsure of what it is.

So to the IPPR report. The Institute of Public Policy Research is the UK’s leading progressive think tank. The purpose of their work is to assist all those who want to create a society where every citizen lives a decent and fulfilled life. It believes that it is necessary for people to act together, to take responsibility for themselves, to address unjustified inequalities, to construct an economy which serves society, to challenge concentrations of power, to maintain a vibrant national and local democracy, to be open to the world and to protect our natural environment.

That was a long sentence-but it makes sense to me.

I came to Melilla because of a couple of documentaries I watched. (Please see the blog post for day 1 of this 3 day trip for their titles). Violence at the borders. Hundreds of people living destitute lives in the forests. Little protection afforded. Hopelessness rife. Positive change needed.

The IPPR report, “The Myth Of Transit” Sub-Saharan Migration in Morocco gives detailed and guided solutions to the problems, complex ok, but solutions. There are ten pages of them. How to simplify:
“Put the life of a Human Being at the top of the agenda”. Oh how simple. Oh how wonderful that would be if we could work such wonders right now.

In short, we have thousands of people Worldwide fleeing war, violence, injustice, poverty, drought…and the World’s caring community is struggling to cope. How do we turn a society still hell bent on destroying itself into one that has the courage, belief, will power and stance to say ‘No, this is not good enough. We must try harder’?

I guess it starts with you and me. Sometimes, Authorities and Organizations, and Governments and Societies are not equipped to create this change…so we have to grab life in our hands and trust that we can fill the gaps, positively, creatively and with a long lasting effect.

Morocco has started to bring more Human Rights issues into its constitution, but if we are to rely on Governance and Authority then we have to trust that that Governance and Authority will create the change that we want.

There are huge complaints of violence being carried out by the Moroccan Authorities towards the Migrants up in the hills and on the borders. As quoted before, Medicine Sans Frontiers have sadly pulled out of the region as a protest at the appalling treatment being handed out. I met several people at the CETI centre in Melilla. This is the Immigration Centre where Migrants are held having ‘successfully’ yet illegally entered Spanish territory. One guy, one very tall guy offered me a piece of video that he had taken on his camera of the Moroccan police beating his friends with iron bars.

He said if I wanted it I’d have to pay for it! Considering I had gone to see if I could help and to promote their plight I was damned if I was going to have to ‘pay to help them’-not right then and there anyway! I understand he needs money…but if proof is needed I can easily come back and buy the SIM card from him. I wonder if this piece of film would be useful to their cause…or would it make it worse? I know where it is if it’s needed.

So, Medicine Sans Frontier have left. Violence reigns, robberies reign, horror hangs in the air. Is there a place for another Human Being on those hills? Would a ‘Western’ face help their cause? Can you walk into a violent/mafiastic/uncontrolled situation, change it for the better and walk out unscathed?

There is a place for courage. There is a place for standing up for change. There is a place for saying ‘Please Stop’…but I don’t believe in the need for Martyrs. I think this age has passed. I do not believe one has to sacrifice one life for another, or one life for many others. I sincerely believe there is a force in life that if hung onto will protect you, guide you, prompt you and back up your every move. I sincerely believe we live in the age of positive change without the need for self sacrifice. A very fine line maybe, but a line all the same.

Why do we so often say ‘change has to take time’, ‘oh that’ll never happen in my lifetime’, ‘oh, they’ll always be war, hunger, poverty’?

As far as horror goes, wouldn’t it be amazing if we could stop it in a far shorter time than ‘in the next generation maybe’? I know things take time to happen, but how long shall we wait for the violence to stop on the borders here? When they’ve got bored of dishing it out? When it’s got so bad that everyone’s given up hope?

Surely, when you witness such horror you have the equal ‘right’ to attempt to stop it. We don’t always have to live with violence. It ‘is’ possible to live without it-a very different world yes, but it is possible.

I’m starting to rant-maybe, but I want to make a difference. The guys in the films asked for help. The Authorities, the Moroccan Government, the Spanish Government, the European Union ‘can’ help…but will they? Will they put the life of a Human Being at the top of their agenda? Because if they don’t there will always be people left behind…like the suffering Sub Saharan Migrants in the Gourougou hills in Morocco. If these Governments cannot help, we will have to do it ourselves. We will have to fill in the gaps. Which gap do you think you can fill?

And I end with a lovely bit of news…

In Today’s edition of the “Melilla Hoy” it reports that Renaud Gomis wins share of Spain’s Christmas Lottery, “El Gordo”, (The Fat One). So called because of its huge total pay out of 2.5 billion euros. Renaud arrived by boat in Tenerife as a Migrant from Senegal in 2006. Very sadly one of his friends drowned en route. Talking emotionally to the press he said, “Life has given me a second chance. With this money I can now move forward.”

Good for you Renaud. Let’s see if we can give a lot more people a second chance.

Ciao for now, Simon.


About theprofessionallitterpicker

Cleanin' up the World!
This entry was posted in 8.Melilla?, Litter, Human Rights and Travel. Bookmark the permalink.

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