Growing concern for the six activists on hunger strike in Tenerife

  • Canarian Weekly
  • 16-04-2024
  • Tenerife
  • Photo Credit: DA
Growing concern for the six activists on hunger strike in Tenerife

Six activists have been on a hunger strike since last Thursday, and are camping in front of the Church of La Concepción in La Laguna, Tenerife. They are demanding a tourist moratorium for the Canary Islands, as well as an immediate halt to the construction of the Hotel de la Tejita and the Cuna del Alma urbanisation, both in the south of the island.

"The hunger strikers have vital signs outside normal limits that could seriously compromise their health. As of today, they are experiencing hypotension and hypoglycemia, meaning their blood pressure and sugar levels are very low, in addition to significant weight loss," said one of the nurses attending to them, in a press conference.

"The data is very alarming, continuing the strike could lead to irreparable neurological damage and even death. So far, there has been six days of hunger strikes in extreme weather conditions, exacerbated by the heat which has contributed to a deterioration of their health in challenging living conditions," the nurse warned.

The La Laguna Council has not responded to the request for the presence of an ambulance or immediate health assistance in the square where they have based themselves. This has been deemed a "risk to their lives" as the longer this situation persists, the greater the likelihood of developing long-term health problems and possibly irreversible ones.

The Canarias Se Agota collective has called on the President of the Canary Islands Government, Fernando Clavijo, to demand the cessation, backed by law, of "illegal mega-projects that affect our island and the implementation of a tourist moratorium", stating:

"Mr. Clavijo, you have the power to reverse this entire situation. You cannot continue to ignore the consequences of the current predatory and speculative model that you so vehemently defend and that has brought us to this point. A few months ago, you said you would not hesitate to defend illegal tourist mega-projects, even awarding contracts for hotels with demolition orders. As social discontent has grown, you first began to appeal to common sense and then to tranquillity to mask your nervousness. Days later, you mentioned the need to review the tourism model and did not rule out the tourist tax. You even stated that the Canary Islands have a serious problem of wealth distribution. We have had to hear you declare that you would protest on the 20th as if you were a normal citizen. Enough of mocking the people of the Canary Islands, enough of hypocritical speeches, stop laughing at people's intelligence.”

The association warns that "time is running out, not only for us and the health of the people on hunger strike but for the future of the Canary Islands, which hangs by a thread." Therefore, "if Mr. Clavijo continues to do nothing and fails to fulfil his duty, we ask the Canarian people to support our struggle and demand accountability from him forcefully."

Why was the hunger strike called?

The hunger strike was called as a protest against the two complexes mentioned above being built, as activists had already managed to stop them on environmental grounds, but the government has now allowed them to proceed again.

It has NOT been called, as disgracefully wrongly reported by GB News, under the pretence: “Do the Canarian people dislike us Brits that much that they are prepared to hunger strike against two new tourist attractions”.

The associations that have organised the protests against tourism have reiterated that it is NOT about British tourists, it is about the current ‘mass’ tourism model that is destroying the island, its resources, and the standard of living for those who reside here.

This is why these protests and hunger strikes are taking place, nothing to do with, as the Daily Mail claims: “Cheap beer swilling and burger eating Brits!” It's ironic how people are getting angry with the Canarians who welcome them and not the British press in the UK who are feeding them incorrect information.

Growing concern for the six activists on hunger strike in Tenerife
Puertito de Adeje before (above) and after (below) the construction of the Cuna del Alma project

Growing concern for the six activists on hunger strike in Tenerife