In this Nov. 1, 2015 photo by Sergey Ponomarev, migrants arrive by a Turkish boat near the village of Skala, on the Greek island of Lesbos. Ponomarev, Mauricio Lima, Tyler Hicks and Daniel Etter, of The New York Times, won the Pulitzer Prize for breaking news photography for photographs that captured the resolve of refugees. Thomson Reuters staff also won for photos of migrants covering hundreds of miles. (Sergey Ponomarev/The New York Times/Columbia University via AP)

The newspapers front pages are usually covered with news on the “economic crisis”, accompanying the information with graphics of the ups and downs of the stock market. It is not usual to see the true “social crisis” ripping Europe. The “refugees crisis” has shown the true face of the European Union and the governments that make part of it.

By J. Parodi

 

In a decomposing system, poverty and wars grow. The numbers are undeniable: globally speaking, in 2005, 6 people per minute were displaced. One decade later, the rate increased up to 24 people per minute. Half of those people are children, part of them traveling alone. The main nationalities are Syrian, Afghan and Somali.

The EU rejects refugees

In front of this humanitarian crisis, the EU and its governments responded with a very similar policy, from Syriza to Le Pen, going through the “social democrat” governments and the “conservative-liberal-demo Christian” ones. The main response has been to “externalize” the reception to Turkey, whose government is well know by assassinating refugees in the border, by shooting them. In exchange, the Turkish government receives thousands of millions of Euros. Just the ferries to send the refugees there cost 3 million Euros, plus the fact not all of them are actually received when arriving to the country -Turkey has built fences, has used police and military forces to violently avoid the refugees to enter, the borders have been closed-. As a result, the Spanish State only received 474 people so far, a ridiculous number.

Because of the border closure, the refugees have to take the risk of crossing the sea in whatever conditions they have. A business for the mafias: while a normal trip on a ship from Turkey to Greece costs a bit more than 40€, the refugees spent their entire family savings in tickets of 4.000€, in rafts. With the intensification of the coastal control, each time more refugees choose to cross through the most dangerous route: from Libya to Lampedusa. Along 2016, more than 4.000 people drowned in the Mediterranean, part of them children.

If they get to cross, the migrants get confined in true concentration camps during months (or even years). No school for the children, no possibility of going out of there; they live in a true prison, under infrahuman conditions. There is nothing to do there; they are overcrowded, with an unwholesome diet. Women sleep with diapers so they do not have to go out alone during the night to get to the bathrooms.

As a protest to this policy, Doctors Without Borders has resigned the subventions of the EU. Even the European Ombudsman denounced the European Union for “inflicting the basic Human Rights”.

The extreme right-wing and racism

The social crisis situation the European countries already lived was the breeding ground to the growth of the racist extreme right-wing. “If there is no work neither social help for the natives, we cannot accept the foreigners”, is the leitmotiv they constantly preach. To this, we have to add the “anti-terrorist” rhetoric (despite the fact the European terrorist move to Syria, usually, and not the other way around), and the Islamophobia.

It is predictable that fascist organizations try to increase their merit, but all the European governments have followed this path, even the ones that call themselves “left-wing”. France has unleashed the Islamophobic paranoia, with armed policemen undressing Muslim women by force in the beach. Syriza has demolished buildings that were established by social movements to daily receive refugees kindly, to deport them. In Barcelona, Ada Colau declared the city as “receptive”, while she chases the street vendors.

The supportive response

Fortunately, the popular response has been much above their governments Thousands of people across Europe have mobilized to received refugees with their own resources. Demonstrations, reception networks, humanitarian help, convoys to Greece, volunteering work in the borders and camps, confrontation with the racist and fascist movements, denounce of the EU governments, financial campaigns to support the activity, among other things… this is the face of the Europe we want.

To deepen and expand this response is a task of each activist. It is from this type of social movements, together with the organized working class, that we can build a different Europe to the EU we suffer today.

Welcome, refugees! A policy for reception

Down with all the governments and the EU: safe passage and open borders for the refugees and economic migrants. Dignified reception: housing, education, health, job and integration of those who arrive.

The resources are there; what is missing is to assign them to this instead of millionaire rescues of the bank; handpicked relocation of corrupts, like Soria in the World Bank; subsidize parasites like the Royal Family or the Church. We need to expropriate the great fortunes profited from arms trade, the imperialist pillage of natural resources, and the labor expropriation in impoverished countries of Latin America, Asia and Africa.

Racist and Fascist shell not pass! Not one break for the racist initiatives, not a truce in any place of Europe. Stop Islamophobia.

Full help to refugees to guarantee their return. Against the dictatorships and the Islamophobic extremism. We raise in solidarity with the Arab Spring revolutions for freedom and social justice, and with those who continue to raise their vindications today. We condemn the military interventions and air-strikes of several countries, like Russia, Iran, Turkey and Saudi Arabia. We specially condemn the US military bases on Spanish State territory.

Against the raise of the extreme right-wing, and in front of the failure of the of the “Socialist Parties” and the “left for the change”, let us build a revolutionary, workers’, socialist alternative in all Europe.

The European Union is not the prosper Europe, with rights, supportive and peaceful they tried to sell. Europe is ripping apart and the barbarism is growing. The future will look like the worst historical experiences that devastated the continent, more than to anything else. We are objectively going in that direction. Capitalism and imperialism profit out of exploitation, they need to war to predate, they foment the more rancid nationalism and racism to look for a scapegoat to vent the popular frustration.

We want a unified Europe, but this EU will not be it. We need a 180º change of direction, a radical break with the ones that rule today. We want a Europe of the workers and the people, with social rights and freedom, supportive and receptive, in peace. In other words, a Socialist Europe.

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Translation: Sofía Ballack.