Rédaction : Il y a plus de cinquante ans que la France –le 23 eme pays de la ligue arabe- avait fait l’avocat unique de l’occident en Afrique du Nord. Et comme les Amazighs les nord africains d’essence avaient une histoire noire avec ce pays dit de liberté, fraternité et droit de l’homme, ils se sont complètement concentrés sur eux-mêmes. Ils savent qu’ils ne peuvent compter que sur eux même puisqu’il n y a aucun autre pays amazigh au Monde, et qu’il n y a aucun pays que la question Amazighe peut intéresser. La porte de l’occident démocratique est fermée par la France anti-Amazigh : à ne voir que les derniers cas du Maroc aux années cinquante, d’Algérie en 1949, de Libye en 2012, et de Mali en 2013. Aujourd’hui le 24 Janvier 2014, le grand journal américain New York Times et après une longue hibernation vient de publier un article très important sur deux plans :
Le premier est que lorsqu’il a parlé des Amazighs, il a affiché la photo d’un enfant Amazigh d’Imider en plein montagne de l’Anti-Atlas avec son drapeau Amazigh. Ce qui est une pertinente et profonde réalité du terrain que la presse marocaine a toujours nié. Et que même la presse arabo-algérienne qui a toujours été anti-marocain et qui a toujours cherché la petite bête noire pour le Maroc a voulu rater celle-ci ! Car elle va lui faire plus de préjudice en Algérie aussi.
Le deuxième plan est qu’il a parlé d’une chose cruciale qui est le vrai cœur de la question Amazighe avant la langue et la culture : LA TERRE. C’est la cause de la vraie défaite des Amazighs sur le plan politique, économique et social dans leur propre pays. Lorsqu’ils ont perdu leurs terres –la base de leur existence- devant la France coloniale qui a elle même transféré une partie de ses terres aux gouvernements arabo-islamiques qu’elle mis en place après l’indépendance qui eux ont distribué à leur guise à leur progéniture. Pire encore, l'actuel gouvernement arabo-islamiste marocain qui veut ressusciter l'arabisme de Gamal Abd Ennaser au nom d'Allah à la place du nom de la grande nation arabe qui a perdu la crédibilité même chez le dernier homme de la rueveut encore prendre plus de terres des tribus Amazighs pour les donner en dons pour les pétrodollars du moyen orient qui les conseils de prendre soins de la langue arabe en occident Arabe: le Maghreb. Le chef du gouvernement marocain l’a reconnu franchement dans son allocution au congrès de la langue arabe à Rabat. Sauf que les Amazighs ont dit NON.
Nous reproduisons l’article et nous reviendrons a cette analyse politique prochainement.
On Moroccan Hill, Villagers Make Stand Against a Mine
An activist with the Berber flag. Protesters have occupied a hilltop above a silver mine for more than two years. Leila Alaoui for The New York Times
IMIDER, Morocco — On a hilltop nearly 5,000 feet high in the Atlas Mountains here, a tiny outpost has taken shape over the past two years. The small stone buildings are decorated gaily with graffiti, and there is an open-air gallery. Many doors bear inspirational inscriptions from people like the Rev. Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. and Mother Teresa. On the dam of a nearby reservoir, someone has painted the face of a local activist, now in jail on what the locals regard as trumped-up charges.
It is an unlikely spot for a settlement, but it was established with a purpose: to protest a mining company’s expropriation of precious water supplies, as well as the pollution that results from the mining.
The inhabitants are drawn from the nearby municipality of Imider, 6,000 people scattered over seven villages and neighbor to the most productive silver mine in Africa.
But while the area may be rich in silver, it is home to some of the poorest people in Morocco.
The people of Imider (pronounced ee-me-DER) say they have grown to resent the mine because they get nothing from it except pollutants. So two years ago, some of them climbed up the hill and cut the water supply to the mine. Since then, they have occupied the hill as they continue to fight the Imiter Mettalurgic Company and, by extension, the king of Morocco, its principal owner.
“We were ready to talk,” said Brahim Udawd, 30, one of the leaders of the protest movement, referring to the events that led to the occupation of the hilltop. “But nobody paid attention to us, so we closed the water valve. They take the silver and leave us the waste.”
These days, the hilltop, Mount Alebban, is relatively calm. Women come daily to cook in the little stone houses and participate in the regular strategy meetings that the villagers hold.
“We have been here for two and a half years, and nobody is hearing our cry for help,” said Mina Ouzzine, 40. “I voted yes for a new constitution because I hoped there will be change, more equality. We are only equal in poverty.”
In 2011, when the Arab revolutions led to the fall of dictators in Egypt and Tunisia, the Moroccan king, Mohammed VI, managed to stall the protests by offering constitutional overhauls that guaranteed more power to an elected government and more freedoms to Moroccans. But none of that has helped the people here.
While for some, the conflict of Imider is mostly ideological, others say that it is not just about ordinary people rising up to make their lives better but also part of a larger problem that is echoed in conflicts with big mining companies across the globe.
The occupation of the hill was set off in the summer of 2011 after students who were used to getting seasonal jobs were turned down. That led the other villagers — even those with jobs — to show solidarity and move to block the mine’s production abilities. One of the main demands of the villagers is that 75 percent of the jobs at the mine be allocated to their municipality.
|Villagers from Imider meeting to discuss strategy. Leila Alaoui for The New York Times
“The bigger the mine, the more capital intensive the industry and the fewer the jobs,” said Gavin Hilson, who specializes in mining and development at the University of Surrey Business School. “Even if the policy in place is to create jobs, there are only so many jobs it can create.”
Exactly what is happening with the water is in dispute. The villagers say they want the company held responsible for environmental damage that they say is the cause of disease, livestock fatalities and desertification.
“In the 1990s, I used to have trees, fruits, oil, almonds,” said Bou Tahar, 70, a farmer. But they died after the mine began taking the water, he said, adding, “Since we cut the flow in 2011, our wells are starting to fill up again.”
According to Mr. Hilson, these kinds of disputes are not uncommon. “If you’re operating in a place like that with quite a few people living in the community, it would be suicidal to exhaust the place from its water supply or to reach a point where villagers become agitated over the consumption of water,” he said. “It is always challenging to operate in dry environments. There are issues with water, with waste disposal and community development because it all revolves around water.”
The company categorically denies the townspeople’s accusations and says that an environmental impact study has proved that it is not contaminating the water supply or harming the environment. The company says that the mining was certified as meeting global environmental standards and that it has put in place irrigation systems for the farmers.
“We are very careful, and we don’t pollute the water or the land around the mine,” said Farid Hamdaoui, a manager at the mine. “We recycle 62 percent of the water we use, and we have authorization from the state to pump the water we use.”
A painting of an activist jailed on what locals call trumped-up charges.
Leila Alaoui for The New York Times
Company officials say their processing capacity dropped 40 percent in 2012 and 30 percent in 2013, after the villagers cut off one source of their water. These days, they use another source in an effort to make up the loss.
Mr. Hamdaoui said that despite having the king as the main shareholder, the company did not gain any special treatment from the government. He said the company was spending more than $1 million a year to build schools and to support community projects.
“We don’t substitute for the state, but we work with the state in a proactive social program,” he said. “The mine cannot unfortunately solve all the problems of unemployment in the region.”
Still, the activists who refer to themselves as the “Movement on the Way of 96,” a reference to a similar upheaval in 1996 that was crushed by the authorities, maintain that the company is in fact receiving favorable treatment from the state.
The governor and other elected officials declined to comment on the dispute, which settled into a stalemate after negotiations broke down in November.
After each meeting held at the foot of the hill, the villagers walk back home holding up three fingers — one for the Berber language, one for the land and one for mankind — hoping for someone to hear their call.
“The king forgot about us. He tours the country helping people, and he never comes to this region,” said one woman. “He is our father, and he has forgotten about his children.”
version of this article appears in print on January 24, 2014, on page A10 of the New York edition with the headline: On Moroccan Hill, Villagers Make Stand Against a Mine. Order Reprints|Today's Paper|Subscribe
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