We have opened our eyes, we will close the CIE
On October 18th 2014, a human chain made of dignity and hope enclosed the Immigration Detention Center at Zona Franca, sending out a clear message: We will close the CIE! Not here, not anywhere!
Today, after 8 months, we make again a call to the associational network to keep on building the pathway leading to the final shut down of the Center.
All these years of fight made us realize that our goal is possible. Collectively, we have broken the silence and we gave light to the obscurity that reigns in our system, an obscurity which covers and maintains the CIE. We have been reporting human rights violations and abuses all of these years, but also we provided a serial of minimum dignity conditions to the inmates, who were illegitimately imprisoned. Meanwhile in our society, common sense is taking over fear, selfishness and xenophobia: it is true that today there is a strong desire in all civil society and citizenship to close down the CIE.
With the past organized demonstrations and protests we achieved significant steps and goals, which were the key to transfer this agreement formed in the streets to the main institutions in Barcelona. For the first time in history, a work group attached to the Justice and Human Rights Commission has been created in order to study the phenomenon in the Catalonian Parliament. All the voices in that workgroup (lawyers, human rights organizations, representatives of the voluntary and syndicalist sectors…) have been unanimous: Immigration Detention Centers are institutions which only by their own existence they violate human rights, and because of this fact, the Catalonian Parliament needs to commit for their closing. Now, parliamentary groups are facing the challenge of adopting a resolution for the close down, which will be pioneer in Spain. This resolution should be accompanied by several specific actions to guarantee basic human rights of the migrant population within the scope of Catalonian political competences on this matter. And, in the case of a possible Catalan constitutional process, it must also be accompanied by a firm commitment that the Immigration Detention Centers will not have their place in Catalonia.
For all of these reasons, citizen protest actions have more sense and strength than ever. We must remind to the institutions that:
• They have no excuses for not using their capacity to eradicate human rights abuses and violations.
• The commitment to shutting down the CIE goes necessarily along with putting and end to the racist raids. Through these illegal practices, conducted by autonomic and local police officers, our neighbors are detained and sent to the Immigration Detention Centre, where they will be waiting to be deported.
• We will close the CIE and in the same spirit we will erase racism and indiscriminate repression from our society: from the sharp and bloody blades fences of Ceuta and Melilla, to the macro-flights of forced deportations.
The Immigration Detention Centres and their all-repressive approach are incompatible with the full respect for human rights. Their existence is inexcusable in a city which aspires to be an example of social justice. Repression and control must cease being the edge of immigration policies, and must leave room for hospitality, coexistence and interculturalism.
We don’t want to be accomplices of these violations, especially in our city. We will not allow the new political forces to keep on going without paying attention to the CIE phenomenon. If the CIE can be shut down in Greece, they can be shut down in Barcelona as well. As it happened in 2006, if they don’t close them, we will dismantle them.
We have already opened our eyes, we will close the CIE!