The EU-Turkey Summit Exposes Our Inhumanity to Refugees
Europe is disintegrating before our eyes. Open and democratic societies cannot be built on fear and hatred
The EU-Turkey Summit Exposes Our Inhumanity to Refugees
By Nick Dearden / newint.org
Mar 8, 2016

The European Council met yesterday to discuss giving billions of euros to the brutal Turkish government to keep the thousands of refugees trying to get to Western Europe inside Turkey. At the same time they propose authorizing NATO to patrol the Mediterranean. Europe is now a grand version of the gated community, patrolled by private security guards, surrounded by a sea of misery.

But even if these measures were a good idea, they can’t work, because European states have effectively taken control of migration policy from the European Union (EU). Walls are being erected, borders secured and the most vulnerable people on earth are being shot with teargas.

More fundamentally, these measures are deeply unjust. What we call a ‘migrant crisis’, is actually a crisis of global injustice caused by war, poverty and inequality. A ‘migrant crisis’ assumes the crisis is caused by migrants. It misses out what those people are fleeing. That might be war in Syria; but the number one cause of global migration is escaping grinding poverty and hopelessness in any number of places.

To demonise those making a rational choice on the part of themselves, their family and their community, obscures the truth. There comes a limit to how much a small elite can drain the rest of the world for their own profit. Migration simply brings those of us in Europe face to face with the reality of the world our leaders have constructed.

Our whole economy is based upon the cheap labour of those from outside Europe – whether they’re here as migrant workers in Britain’s National Health Service (NHS) or whether they’re toiling away in sweatshops in Bangladesh, in plantations in Kenya or in service centres in India.

Our transnationals – the real ‘economic migrants’ – plunder the world of its resources. Our military infrastructure tears the world apart, creating decades of conflict. Our financial centres and tax havens channel that wealth to elites in the West. Our trade agreements lock in these arrangements, with fear of legal sanctions.

Today, even migration itself provides an opportunity to profit. This week will see two protests. The first targets Yarl’s Wood detention centre, one of seven ‘immigration removal centres’ run by private companies for profit.

The UK is the world leader in privatizing detention, and detainees can now spend months or even years behind bars, having committed no crime, while someone makes a profit. Serco runs Yarl’s Wood on a $14.2 million per year contract, but G4S, Mitie and Geo Group are also in on the act, while City investors are raking in profits from private detention worldwide.

The second protest is aimed at the government-organized Security and Policing Exhibitionwhich promises a ‘discreet environment’ for hundreds of companies, from Serco to BAESystems, who want to ‘display products which would be too sensitive to show in a more open environment’.

Surveillance, border fences, patrols, and ‘crowd control’ all benefit these parasites on crises and suffering.

When we understand the extent to which our whole economic model is dependent on the rest of the world, we have a choice. First we can accept the injustice and pretend Europe is not disintegrating and our democracy is not being eroded. Second, we can cut ourselves off from the rest of the world, pull up the drawbridge and try to survive on our own.

Or, most reasonably, we can work to build a more hopeful an optimistic Europe, which welcomes migrants whether they are escaping poverty or fleeing war. We recognise that this is not simply our duty, but our first step in building a world based on different values than those of profit and greed.

Europe is not ‘full’. Lebanon, a country half the size of Wales, has taken in 2 million Syrian refugees. It is perfectly possible for Europe to take far more migrants than we currently see. In fact, our ageing population may depend upon it. Public services like the NHS would collapse without immigration. And even where migrant labour is undermining wage levels, the answer is to boost and properly enforce laws like the minimum wage, and encourage unionization.

It is impossible to stop immigration, but it is also undesirable and immoral. In a world where people who hold the right passports can pretty much travel and live wherever they want, it’s time to accept the racism inherent in the hypocrisy about immigration. A world in which people’s destiny is determined by where they are born is not a progressive vision.

We can no longer accept that free movement is only for people with privileged passports, but that it is both a universal right and the impetus we need to fight poverty and reduce inequality.

0.0 ·
0
Trending Today
How a Lack of Touch Is Destroying Men
Mark Green · 5,596 views today · Why Men Need More Platonic Touch in their Lives
Globalization Makes No Sense
Chris Agnos · 3,124 views today · When I lived in San Francisco, I often would marvel at the movement of goods through the ports across the bay in Oakland. Full container ships would enter the bay one after...
Proof of Evolution That You Can Find on Your Body
4 min · 2,136 views today · Vestigial structures are evolution's leftovers — body parts that, through inheritance, have outlived the context in which they arose. Some of the most delightful reminders of...
Immigrants For Sale (2015)
33 min · 2,064 views today · The detention of migrants has become a multi-billion dollar industry in which immigrants are sold to the highest bidder and traded like mere products. The Corrections...
How Comedy Can Disarm Bullies
3 min · 1,954 views today · As long as you're funny, it can get you out of almost anything - even getting mugged, as co-founder of Between Two Ferns Scott Aukerman recounts. Unfortunately, not everyone...
Your Lifestyle Has Already Been Designed (The Real Reason For The Forty-Hour Workweek)
David Cain · 1,468 views today · Well I’m in the working world again. I’ve found myself a well-paying gig in the engineering industry, and life finally feels like it’s returning to normal after my nine months...
Those That Did Not Seek Revenge
Dr. Ann Russo · 1,219 views today · Dr. Ann Russo on violence, healing, and transforming justice.
DAPL Opponents Vow to 'Rise' From Ashes of Oceti Sakowin and Keep Fighting
Lauren McCauley · 1,056 views today · 'They cannot extinguish the fire that Standing Rock started,' Dallas Goldtooth declared
Compassion, the Antidote
Martin Doblmeier · 994 views today · Thich Nhat Hanh has published nearly 100 books and is one of the best-known teachers of Zen Buddhism in the world today. In the early 1960s his practice of what he termed...
A Hauntingly Beautiful Short Film About Life and Death
5 min · 971 views today · The Life of Death is a touching handdrawn animation about the day Death fell in love with Life.
John Lennon's "Imagine," Made Into a Comic Strip
John Lennon. Art by Pablo Stanley · 970 views today · This is easily the best comic strip ever made.  Pabl
Without Saying a Word This 6 Minute Clip From Samsara Will Make You Speechless
6 min · 869 views today · Can you put this video into words? It's a clip from the phenomenal documentary Samsara, directed by Ron Fricke, who also made Baraka.  If you're interested in watching...
Today I Rise: This Beautiful Short Film Is Like a Love Poem For Your Heart and Soul
4 min · 800 views today · "The world is missing what I am ready to give: My Wisdom, My Sweetness, My Love and My hunger for Peace." "Where are you? Where are you, little girl with broken wings but full...
Stunning Small Homes Form Part of a Communal Compound for Best Friends
Lighter Side · 786 views today · If you’re lucky enough to have longtime friends even as an adult, then you know probably already know how much it means to be able to spend time together. Maybe you even have a...
How Wolves Change Rivers
4 min · 674 views today · When wolves were reintroduced to Yellowstone National Park in the United States after being absent nearly 70 years, the most remarkable "trophic cascade" occurred. What is a...
The Foiled Bomb Plot in Kansas That Didn't Make Trump's Terror List
5 min · 650 views today · When a plot by a pro-white militia to bomb a Somali mosque in Kansas was foiled by the FBI last October, the aborted conspiracy received little national coverage - nor did it...
Where the Term "Redneck" Came From
15 min · 594 views today · If you don't know this story, you'll never look at the word the same again.  This is just a window into the sometimes shocking, subversive and untold history of the United...
Touch Isolation: How Homophobia Has Robbed All Men Of Touch
Mark Greene · 594 views today · Homophobic prohibitions against male touch are hurting straight men as well.
10 Words Every Girl Should Learn
Soraya Chemaly · 378 views today · "Stop interrupting me."  "I just said that." "No explanation needed." In fifth grade, I won the school courtesy prize. In other words, I won an award for being polite. My...
The Most Astounding Fact about the Universe
3 min · 243 views today · This is Neil Degrasse Tyson's response when asked to describe the most astounding fact about the universe. Background music is the cinematic orchestra - To build a home.
Load More
What's Next
Like us on Facebook?
The EU-Turkey Summit Exposes Our Inhumanity to Refugees