Monday, November 8, 2010

Morocco attacks Justice and Dignity Camp, triggering Sahrawi intifada

Updated with info from Gara at 6:00 pm CET.

The Moroccan Army has attacked tonight without notice the Justice and Dignity Camp set up by Sahrawi activists near the Sahrawi capital of El Aaiu, forcing  20,000 people, including full families, in it to move out.

The attack has included, it seems machine gunfire, causing at least one mortal victim. Casualties data is at the moment confuse with the RASD government in exile talking of one dead and hundreds injured, and earlier its military-political force, the POLISARIO Front, speaking of 13 killed instead.

The survivors have walked to El Aaiun and taken the city, burning police stations. The video below has been directly embedded from a non-YouTube site (specifically Cuestionatelotodo) because YouTube is censoring access to it to non-users, as it has been flagged as "inappropriate" by some users, probably agents of the Moroccan dictatorship or its friends: Israel, Saudia, the USA and France.

In it you can (hopefully) see masses of unarmed Sahrawis (I saw Bedouin sword, nothing else) chanting slogans in Arabic, while the reporter explains in Spanish the details of the attack and how the fire we see in the background is a police station. Apparently the situation is the same across the city and the word intifada (revolution in Arabic) is repeated several times as descriptive of the situation. 

According to the latest information, the situation now in El Aaiun has worsened, as the Army has entered the city and is shooting against the population. Regional TV, post offices and district administration offices are on fire. 

Spanish solidarity activists report that several death have arrived to hospital, from both the camp and the city. Moroccan occupation authorities have reported three casualties among the occupation forces as well.

West Sahara or the Arab Democratic Sahrawi Republic was invaded by Morocco (and temporarily also by Mauritania) in 1975 against the will of its people, resulting in a guerrilla war or at least 20 years. In the 1990s the UN bartered a truce and proposed a roadmap to self-determination that Morocco has been sabotaging ever since.

At the moment the POLISARIO Front guerrilla is not militarily active but the revolt has switched its focus to one of widespread civil disobedience inside West Sahara. To this Morocco has only been able to respond with more and more repression.

Go viral and spread the word, please, as it is obvious that Morocco is trying to silence this most important news by all means available.

For solidarity demonstrations today in the state of Spain, check Sahara Libre. There are demos called in all major cities. 

Brief update on the protest in Bilbao (in front of the Moroccan consulate): there was a lot more people than I expected, considering the short notice, I'm guessing that maybe 500 people, mostly (but not only) Sahrawi immigrants. We were only allowed to stand on the sidewalk and police presence was noticeable. We could only stay for an hour or so.

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