A second migrants protest took place on Saturday afternoon, without prior warning or any information available about the group of around thirty individuals, all wearing masks and chanting loudly who displayed makeshift banners, written on bed linen, demanding “solutions for migrants”.
The Guardia Civil were again called to Puerto Rico de Gran Canaria, on the streets overlooking Amadores, just after 14:00 on Saturday afternoon, to find a demonstration of about thirty migrants who were protesting against their possible deportation or transfer to the Las Raíces camp at a military barracks in Tenerife, and requesting to be able to travel to the peninsula. Despite many of them having arrived with sufficient resources for their onward journeys, the Spanish policy of a defacto blockade has left them in administrative limbo and unable to head for the mainland.
In a statement, the Las Palmas Command explained that their agents intervened in the demonstration because it had not been previously communicated to the authorities, which is mandatory under Spanish law, and that the participants withdrew “peacefully” as soon as they were requested to do so.
The small but vocal group gathered for a second migrants protest at Avenue Roque de Los Muchachos overlooking the empty Amadores beach below them, where there are several apartment complexes which have been temporarily converted into humanitarian shelters over the last few weeks and months, in collaboration with the Red Cross and the Spanish Government, so as to alleviate the total lack of facilities able to deal with the huge increase in migrant arrivals seen last year. The demonstrators, who all appeared to be of North African origin, carried a cotton banner with the slogan “We want a solution for immigrants” and a second banner on which was written “We don’t want to go to Tenerife, we don’t want to go to Morocco, we want to go to Barcelona and to Madrid”.
The Guardia Civil confirmed that they have identified two people they suspect may be the organisers of the demonstrations so as to file an administrative complaint against them for a violation of the Citizen Security Law, for holding meetings or unreported or prohibited manifestations as detailed in Organic Law 4/2015 on Protection of citizen security.
Our apologies to Friday readers, we may have misunderstood part of yesterday’s march, where witnesses had suggested that the protesters joined the group waiting to be transferred to Tenerife, which indeed they may well have done, but then returned to their accommodation. It seems this second migrants protest may well have been the same group today, all desperately trying to continue their onward journeys to mainland Europe, a journey that seems more and more unlikely to be completed from here. We rely heavily on first hand reports of events like this, but we do not always get everything right on first try.
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