Wednesday, October 31, 2007

Stop the roundups in Morocco!

Urgent call for help

During a meeting on Sunday, Oct 28, 2007, the board of the Association Beni Znassen for culture (ABCDS) stated that, near Oujda (Morocco), countless deportations of sub-Saharan migrants to Algeria continue to take place since Dec 23, 2006. This initial action was but one episode of a series of mass deportations of immigrants. Subsequently, several roundups followed, a last one being conducted during the night of Oct 25/26, 2007, in Rabat, at the same time as the campus of Oujda University was violently attacked by police troops. Both roundups followed two months after the police has violently raided Oujda’s campus on July 27, 2007, to clear the area of sub-Saharan refugees, arresting more than 450 migrants and leaving several people seriously injured.

Also, the roundups took place just two days after Nicolas Sarkozy’s first state visit to Morocco.

As a result of continuous agitation, persecution, arrests and forcible deportations to the borders, immigrants are physically, mentally and morally exhausted and find themselves unable to bear the burden of the war that is waged against them.

More and more people come; they live under extreme weather conditions, dispersed across the whole city, especially in the border region, where hygienic conditions are miserable, and in a number of nearby villages close to Oujda.

ABCDS calls on all Moroccan, European, American, international organizations and all women and men who are willing to help, to mobilize so that ABCDS is able to sustain urgently needed help for these people. They are victims of a war against immigrants that has been declared by the European Union and that is being supported by the Moroccan government.

No matter who is politically responsible, no matter what the result of a political analysis of this situation might be – it is impossible to abandon human beings to their fate in such a moment. At least, they need to be provided with emergency supplies, food and clothes.

Contact: Hicham BARAKA, President ABCDS

Phone: 00212 - 67 71 65 24 / 00212 - 36 68 67 50

E-mail: /

Friday, October 26, 2007

Germany - Police raids refugee camp in Remscheid

On October 24, early in the morning at 6:20 am 250 policemen raided the refugee camp in Remscheid. They broke into the rooms of the refugees, forced them to the ground and hancuffed them. Thereafter they searched in the rooms for "drugs". The refugees had to wait at least two hours until they were released. The police raid was accompanied by the press, that reported in detail ((rp-online, Remscheider General Anzeiger) to spread the criminilization into the brains of the people.

For the refugees of the camp this raid in the dark morning was not the first time. Most of them have already experienced such raids and each time the society and the media shouts, "See the criminals in our neighbourhood!"

We will defend ourselves against the state terror imposed on us and we request the state persecuter to doo his job correctly and not forget the crimes committed by the state. Mohammad Selah one young refugee from the same camp had to die last January, because the city administration of Remscheid refused to give him the health card to go to the doctor. The rejection of the health insurance is the normal status in Remscheid and elsewhere. But the state persecutor in Wuppertal who should investigate remains silence and instead sends the police to the camp. He send the same police to the refugees which is known in Wuppertal and Remscheid because of their racist insults and brutalities against migrants and young Punks, and which increases the rage of the people not only in Wuppertal and Remscheid.

Next week we will go to the streets to name the crimes of the German police and government and inform the poeple about the situation of the refugees. Be aware of calls spreaded by email or throughthe caravan homepage. We will name the crimes of the German police that burns refugees like Oury Jalloh in police cells, that shoots young men like Dominique Koumadio on the streets of Dortmund and rapes refugees in deportation prisons like they did in Bremen. When they attack one of us, they aim at all of us, and they should know we will not stop us from naminig the criminals and their bosses, who bring racism and hatred into the society and prepare the ground for all the racist attacks and the poeple for the wars in other countries.

Solidarity against the state terror, deportation, racism and war.
Down with racism.

The Caravan for the rights of refugees and migrants
Düsseldorf & Wuppertal

Wednesday, October 17, 2007

Freedom for Joseba Alvarez!

Solidarity with the liberation movement of the Basque people –

Freedom for Joseba Alvarez!

Joseba Alvarez Forcada. Foto: Ralf Streck.

ICAD expresses full solidarity with the liberation movement of the Basque people, with the party of Batasuna and its leader Joseba Alvarez, who has been arrested last week by the Spanish police.

This repressive action against Joseba Alvarez and other members of Batasuna is part of a strategy all over Europe, especially in Italy, Germany and Turkey, where the European States try to restrict the freedom of expression, freedom of assembly and freedom of association, i.e. restriction of fundamental human- and democratic rights. ICAD is very much concerned about the European development. The so-called fight against terrorism is used to get rid of critical opposition and to criminalize social movements of the people.

Besides the attacks on Batasuna in Basque, equal operations took place in Italy and hit the (new)Italian Communist Party. The Turkish State operated against the MLCP (Marxist Leninist Comunist Party). In Germany G8 opposition where attacked and arrested days before the meeting started. These people were arrested, imprisoned and procecuted, because of their antifascistic, antiimperialistic opinions. They open spoke out against neo-liberal economy, facism in Europe and supported national liberation movements. That’s why they were attacked and imprisoned.

ICAD supports a common international front against repression, occupation and war.

Freedom for Joseba Alvarez Forcada!

Freedom for all political prisoners!


International Office


The international Justice for Sankara Campaign


The international Justice for Sankara Campaign has filed a complaint with the United nations after having exhausted all recourses inside Burkina Faso. Sankara was a panafricanist and an internationalist.
He strove for self - directed and sustainable development that prioritized women, peasants and the poor, where social justice would be the bulwark of a new truly decolonized Burkina Faso. In the present era of dehumanizing globalization, his example and contribution to a development defined by honesty and accountability should serve to remind us that there are alternatives.

Tu étais notre interlocuteur, ... Quand tu partas La France se tût ! ... Quand tu partas l’Onu se tût ! ... Quand tu partas l’OUA s’est tu ! ... Ta mort nous a bouleversé

Federico Bastiani, italian freelance journalist, he writers for Amnesty International magazine, Volontari per lo Sviluppo and for website of Women Library of Bologna ( where inside their website he has the survey
"women without borders"


Every time we read books concerning Africa, pessimism reigns supreme, corruption, underdevelopment, malnutrition, disease, these the words most frequently used.

Nevertheless more than twenty years ago Africa had the possibility to change its destiny thanks to one man, a revolutionary, the African Ghe Guevara, Thomas Sankara. The slogan of the no global movement “another world is possible” is based on the revolutionary experience of Thomas Sankara in Burkina Faso from 1983 to 1987. France from 1919 used the Alto Volta (today Burkina Faso) as a strategic territory in order to control the other colonies nearby. It was the only possible use of a country lacking in raw materials. In 1960 it obtained independence and Alto Volta was plundered by the ruling class that had taken the power which grew under the french.

Before 1983 Burkina Faso was one of the poorest countries in the world, without raw materials, one doctor to every 50.000 inhabitants, an infant mortality of 107 for every thousands, a rate of schooling of 2%, a life expectancy of life 44 years old.

Thomas Sankara, the son of a soldier, at 34 years old took the power “in order to give Africa back to the africans”. In four years he changed his country first of all renaming Alto Volta Burkina Faso meaning "country of the integral ones". In Africa corruption was and is one of the main impediments to a real development, for example the defunct dictator of Zaire, Mobuto, had a personal patrimony deposited abroad of eight billion dollars. In 2004 the country’s foreign debt was thirteen billion dollars. Thomas Sankara drastically reduced expenses of the state apparatus which upto that point absorbed 70% of the budget; those suspected of corruption were fired. The blue cars were abolished, Sankara arrived at ministerial meeting by bicycle. “We cannot be the rich ruling class of a poor country” he loved to repeat. The foreign heads of state visiting Burkina Faso, were not received in the presidential palaces but in the poor villages of the country. One of the targets of Sankara was to give dignity once again the neglected to the peasants. In order to do this he adopted unpopular political measures such as increasing the prices of agricultural products and introducing customs duties, his mission was to achieve the alimentary self-sufficient. The “intentional colonial pact” wanted by European countries still today renders many african states enslaved to the market. The Europeans imposed on their own colonies to cultivate what they needed. Chad produces cotton, Rwanda tea, Senegal peanuts. The monocultivation has put in a position of submission these countries. Every year the price of the agricultural products comes down on the international market therefore the African countries are forced to import food in order to survive becoming indebted. Sankara wanted to escape from this cycle and he succeeded in this. During the years ’85- ’86 the Burkina Faso achieved alimentary self-sufficiency, the production of cereals touched record levels, the GNP grew by 4.6% per annum. Sankara understood the importance of infrastructure and began the construction of the main railways of the country. February of 2004, Ethiopia had a tremendous alimentary crisis. Hundreds of thousands of tons of maize spoiled in the silos because there was not the infrastructure to allow distribution to the population and they died. These were the injustices which Sankara opposed and therefore refused international aid. “With the annual wage of a FAO employer we can build a school in Burkina Faso”. The international community was not in agreement with Sankara’s policies because he did not want to open the market to foreign companies and he entered "war" with the International Monetary Fund. In 1983 the foreign debt of Burkina Faso amounted to 398 million dollars (40% of GNP). “The debt in its actual form is the colonial reconquest, the debt cannot be repaid, that which the IMF has asked, we have already done" .

Sankara put into effect the reorganization of the public accounts not following the IMF advice that is cutting social welfare state leaving military expenses unchanged. In the revolutionary program of Sankara the women played an important and somewhat atypical role for an African country. In 1985 he launched the campaign against genital mutilation , he introduced divorce which could be requested by the woman without the consent of her husband, feminine participation in the political life achieved unhoped levels. Sankara’s sister, Odile Sankara, has continued the work of her brother on themes regarding women, having founded the association “talents de femmes” in order to promote feminine excellence in writing and in the arts. We have met Odile, actress of the theatre and cinema, in Ancona. “Burkina Faso does not have natural resources but we are rich culturally, we are made up of ethnic groups that can cohabit and are carriers of cultural values. The objective of the association is to show the woman artist, to render her an accepted figure and to value the handcrafted artistic production of women”.

On 15th October 1987 the revolutionary experience was interrupted. Thomas Sankara was killed in an organized ambush by his companion Blaise Compaoré, the President of Burkina Faso. Today Burkina Faso has returned to being “a normal” country. Spreading corruption, expenses of the State have returned to previous levels of growth, as has the national debt. Blaise Compaoré has followed exactly dictates of Washington, he has opened the market to international GMO food companies which other countries such as Zambia has refused to do while the population in Burkina Faso continues to suffer. What thing did not work with Sankara’s policies? We have asked Carlo Batà, author of the italian version of the book on Sankara “He tried to change things too fast and has underrated the forces that were against him (above all those who had the power in rural areas and the city bourgeoisie). Informed of the attempt of coup d’état het answered that in Burkina Faso there were seven million Sankaras”. Jean Ziegler, special rapporteur on the Right to Food author of the book “empire of shame” who knew Thomas Sankara, asserts that it is only an issue of time. Sankara is still a very strong figure in the collective African imagination , he was the first protester against globalisation and today the changes dreamed by him are indeed possible. The Latin American countries are showing marks of a radical change of direction, in Africa there are charismatic antiglobalisation figures such as Aminata Traoré so the dream of Sankara could not be so far away.

Federico Bastiani