The video images and photographs of waves of syrian and other refugees moving through europe, and of those who are abandoned, beaten, raped, arrested and/or killed, that pass across the screens and fill the pages of “news” media re-enact horrors on the continent that many europeans thought were the privilege of the uncivilised. Memories are short, such that we forget even recent european refugee crises (e.g. Yugoslavia) and perception and understanding are weak enough that no connection is made between the current crisis and the policies and actions of european states/the european union outside europe. Sentimentalism abounds in the media reports, hypocrisy and xenophobia lose all shame in the speeches of politicians, and the passivity of false innocence finds comfort behind borders and walls.
Those who today risk all as refugees in europe are the children of the violence of european and global capitalism. For those who would claim to contest this violence, the only defensible demand is that all refugees be welcomed.
From the catalan anarchist network Procés Embat comes a statement of solidarity with all those who seek refuge from capitalist accumulation and war in europe …
Declaration on the wave of refugees in Europe
Throughout this summer, Europe began to be aware of the side consequences of the imperialist wars that it has been instigating. Waves of refugees, hundreds of thousands, crossed the Mediterranean from Turkey and Libya, following dangerous routes in vessels that often lack security measures. In their search for a safe place they travel through many countries with Germany as their destination, where they will be received and from which, presumably, they will be distributed among several European states.
The extreme right in various countries react opportunistically demanding the closure of borders and the denial of solidarity and shelter to those who come to their lands in situations of extreme exhaustion. Following this tone, some conservative governments such as those of Hungary, Slovakia and the United Kingdom adopt the discourse of discrimination that evokes hatred. This hatred, which grows with the economic crisis and the cynical “war on terror”, threatens to expand uncontrollably.
Embat, a libertarian political organization of Catalonia, denounces the hypocrisy with which the European Union is facing the untenable situation of refugees, who are people escaping wars and so-called “failed states” caused by the international policies that the EU itself promotes. Thus, the Iraq wars, Syria, Libya and Afghanistan are the result of the militarised politics of the United States, backed by members of the European Union; and the collapse of Eritrea, South Sudan, Somalia, Nigeria and Yemen are the result of the predatory policies of neoliberalism: on the one hand natural resources are exploited and on the other national armies, as well as private armies, warlords or mercenaries are promoted which oppress their own people.
The globalization of capitalism, driven steadily since the ’70s, found itself sustained by the struggle against communism of the so-called Eastern bloc. This caused the financing and arming of all kinds of fanatics under the condition that they fought against the enemy of the West. The unconditionally collaborationist policies with US interests maintained by Europe, now turn against it. The hypocritical and cynical reaction of the European Union to these unwanted effects of their own incompetence is to accuse the “mafias” of being behind of the current “migration crisis”. The EU border politics (FRONTEX) is directly responsible for so many people dying in migration processes. Thus Europe is shields itself against migration. “Fortress Europe” goes so far as to fund countries to serve as border police without restriction when it comes to migrants.
The only solution to the refugee problem is that there be no wars. Thus we understand that the anti-war movements of the past decade are today continued in the European movement of solidarity with the refugees. The situation this summer confirms that the fight against imperialist wars, to paralyse, them is a necessity for our society. Every war, sooner or later, causes the breakdown of society, the misery of persons and peoples and the material and economic destruction of countries.
If we want the problem to be resolved, we must act at its roots: the conflicts and wars in Afghanistan, Syria, Iraq, Yemen, Libya, Somalia, Nigeria, and a long etcetera, should be stopped immediately, wars in which one of the factors for their existence is European capitalist imperialism. Therefore, the long-term responsibilities and priorities of the Popular Movement should be:
• prevent any European state from ever involving itself again in a war of aggression against another state.
• demand the withdrawal of European military worldwide.
• demand that the states of the European Union break with NATO, the TTIP, and other treaties that establish worldwide imperialist policies.
• establish control mechanisms on European companies operating worldwide.
As for immediate action:
• require European governments to unconditionally welcome refugees who come to our country fleeing from the problems created by imperialism and neoliberalism. Catalonia has a moral obligation to receive refugees.
• prepare ourselves to prevent evictions, resist right-wing attacks against refugees and migrants and xenophobic propaganda.
We know that the current problems are because of imperialism and capitalism. They are the real threat to humanity. For fraternity between peoples we state our solidarity message: Refugees are welcome!