Just watching some rather disturbing images, live, on “Espana Directa” from Roquetas del Mar, of large groups of Police and Guardia Civil roaming the streets with large sticks and hitting black people – any groups of Africans are being broken up as soon as they form.
Local “subsaharanos“, or sub Saharan as the press are now calling them, once they realised that Africa is more then just Morrocco, have denounced that they have been condemned by the authorities and the press without trial; local community leaders said in a meeting in front of the town hall that there is “no proof” that drugs were involved in the original fight and asked why the Gitano murderer has not yet been arrested if the Guardia Civil know who he is. The mayor, dragged out to face the crowds, affirmed that to the best of his knowledge nobody has been accused of drug dealing.
Local neighbors in the area of the main trouble spots (Spanish) asked by Espana Directa, all affirm that they have never previously had any problems with their African neighbors and that they have always been perfect people, and even friends. Not sure how much of this is generated by the desire to look good on TV, but certainly people & the press (Spanish) are starting to ask why the Police attention seems to be concentrated on the Africans (Blacks) and not the Gitanos, who are after all, Spanish. At least one African was showing off a large bruise which he claimed he got when a Nacional “beat him like an animal” just because he wouldn’t go home – and it is believed that the Gitanos have been shouting up trouble in local bars, unmolested by the Police.
A further 4 subsaharanos have been arrested in relation with the riots last night, and the Guardia Civil say they are “fully prepared” for a further night of unrest. No reports that I can see of any Gitano arrests. Several barricades were manned and then broken by Police charges last night, and an ambulance was overturned and burnt. There is substantial damage to several streets to judge by the news reports.
The trouble here is that the local authorities seem to be completely unprepared for any of this, and are currently so scared of a repeat of the full blown race riots of 2000 that they are being heavy handed with the Police, who have been charged with suppressing the problems. All this is going to do is to drive the trouble back underground where it will continue to fester until the next flashpoint. How come the Police haven’t yet arrested the alleged murderer? That’s going to help calm the situation down. Just roaming the streets beating anybody who tries to congregate isn’t really community policing.
There are some videos of last nights fun over at ideal.es. Over a hundred Guardia Civil are on duty tonight in Roquetas, but I expect the rain will keep people indoors.