Intervenção na Manifestação dos Moradores Imigrantes
Os moradores Imigrantes estiveram reunidos no dia 17 de Setembro para falar dos seus problemas e das reivindicações que têm para fazer cumprir o seu direito a viver dignamente na cidade! Esta foi a intervenção que fizeram na manifestação CASAS PARA VIVER de dia 30 de Setembro.
My name is Khalied, I’m living in Portugal for 4 years now. Some months ago, I was living in an overcrowded building which collapsed with people inside. Luckly, I was busy at work and no one died.
After the accident and the first night, we were abandoned by the local authorities. Today, I’m here representing the immigrant community, to expose the situation of most immigrants working and living in Portugal and in Porto.
The situation of housing in Portugal and in Porto is bad and getting worse. While the city is full of empty houses and thousands of hotels and hostels are making huge profit, we are forced to pay 200€, 250€ or even more for a bed in a shared room, without contract or kitchen, without minimum conditions to live and rest properly. Someone who has a family is forced to pay 400 or 450€ for a shared flat without enough space.
Because of being immigrants we are always discriminated when working, when we are trying to access health care, when trying to find a home because many times it is not possible to even find somewhere to live in. Many times we have no other choice than to live on the streets.
We work every day and all day for low wages, no holidays and no security, and still have to give much of what we earn to fill the pockets of the landlord, sometimes the same person we work for.
We are working in construction, in shops, cooking in restaurants, delivering food to people at home, working in agriculture, we have been working and living here for months or years but we don’t get the right to be able to live in a proper house, with space, privacy, basic services and tranquility.
The local and central governments pretend they don’t know about our situation and close their eyes.
Two weeks ago, we organized a meeting dedicated to expose and discuss the problems and the situation of immigrants living here. After this discussion, we came to an agreement about what we think could contribute to solve our problem.
These are our demands: First, the immediate regularization of all immigrants, so we can be regarded as citizens of full rights. The regularization process is very slow and designed to make it difficult for someone to go through it. That needs to change.
Second, the restoration and inspection of houses where immigrants live, after a serious survey done by the local authorities. This is very much needed to address the poor living conditions of immigrants and the exploitation of the whole community.
Third, we demand public housing dedicated to the immigrant community and the placing of empty houses in the rental market at controlled rents to solve the overcrowding problem and the huge housing problem that most of us here are facing today.
Lastly, we demand the right to our own community, the right to culture, religion, family, the same as a native Portuguese citizen.
Only if we come together we can speak up and claim our rights, help each other, make our situation known and force the Government and public opinion to hear our claims!