2020: The history of the bad year which was also a great year.
The whole world will remember 2020 as the year of the pandemic. No wonder.
But not only.
What is urgent and what is important often compete with each other.
Perhaps that is why it is so necessary to remember ourselves and the life that lies beyond the infections, despite the infections.
That is precisely why it is more necessary than ever to defend human rights where they are systematically violated and risk being overshadowed. They are not only happening in other countries. They exist in Spain, and they are not few in the Southern Border.
In January 2020 we arrived in Melilla. At that time, we could not imagine what would come in March, all that this year would give us, and all that it would take away from us.
In these 12 months, confinement included, we have shared-dreamed-felt-lived more than in 12 lives. Yes, we have also cried. But sometimes it was pure joy. And those few times, from contagious hope to anger, give us the certainty: Not EVERYTHING was bad in 2020, so let's enjoy it:
Solidary Wheels and No Name Kitchen shake hands.
Objective: Southern Border.
We start with Melilla. La Cañada (of life) is our home.
Defending human rights is the goal.
The path, just that, to share the path: And that's where the energies have been spent this year!
In legal - health - academic "offices" under a beach umbrella in San Lorenzo or in a skatepark.
In group and individual psychosocial interventions of so many people stranded in that open-air prison that is Melilla.
In detailed observations and detailed documentation to forge consistent complaints and advocacy.
In agreeing with people on the move, entities and people-home, here, there, on the ground, in the rest of the world... because when working with a network, everything weighs less.
Giving ourselves some "structure" is fundamental to this, to move forward and also to guarantee the continuity of the project while rights are being violated. In order to get the project off the ground, specific working groups have been essential, which, helped by new technologies and closely interconnected, have allowed us to advance with one foot in the field... and with the other, in many different places in the world with different needs. In addition to the groups previously mentioned of documentation, denouncing, legal or health, others have also begun to function, such as the one that connects us with the situation in Ceuta and the Canary Islands, a support and reception networks for girls and women outside Melilla, one for new literacy tools, another for communication, and even one which helps with the search for financing so as to be able to continue and maintain our presence in Melilla. This is essential.
We want to continue breathing that air that tastes like mint.
Tearing down the fence as we look at it.
Chewing the injustice to transform it into rights.
Watered by the courage of those who migrate, and do not stop transmitting strength.
Sharing life, sunsets, bonds and collective sowing.
Celebrating with yeast the triumphs of the people.
Reducing the rage in the face of the failures of the system.
And walking, as our colleague in Alba points out, being able to greet every child or young person who wanders around Melilla: "Good evening Hassan, Mohamed, Rachid...". Knowing their names. Aware of all that they mean.
No, 2020 was not only a bad year, it was also a great year.