– Grafitti in Sevilla, Spain, oic by jlt –
“2014 was a bad year” to quote John Fante´s book “1933 was a bad year”.
Politically a desaster: the rising of the IS, the amount of refugees fleeing Syria and other regions with terroristic regimes rose up to 50 million people worldwide fleeing their homes mostly to neighbour states like Libanon or Turkey.
And the rich and wealthy northern and western states have nothing else to do instead of showing real solidarity with those who manage to flee the dictatory regimes, to secure their borders to a “Fortress EU” like in Spain, Melilla, in the Agais between Turkey and Greece or in other european border states. The mare nostrum programme of the italien government that safed the life of appox. 150000 refugees in the mediterranean sea after the Lampedusa tragedy 2013 endet, because the Italian state couldn´t finance it anymore and the EU didn´t want to do so. It is followed by a frontex operation called triton – with the clear mission to protect the frontiers with push backs instead of safeguarding people.
See the official Frontex video: “beyond borders”
“Respect for human rights applies for everything Frontex does,
It´s one of the core value. Effective border control is and will be achieved by fully respecting and promoting fundamental rights”
That this is simply not true and human rights were and are still breached by illegal push backs can be read here: Pro Asyl: PUSHED BACK – systematic human rights violations against refugees in the aegean sea and at the greek-turkish land border: http://www.proasyl.de/fileadmin/fm-dam/l_EU_Fluechtlingspolitik/proasyl_pushed_back_24.01.14_a4.pdf
Moreover, the 2005 idea of Tony Blair to establish around the EU transit zones in Marocco, Lybia, Mauretania and to give money and military facilities to these states by the EU etc. to have a kind of buffer area around the EU is again re-shaping, altough The Dublin System of the EU is still in Power and protecting the center EU states like Germany, not having to deal directly with the refugees and to have the right to send them back to the first country they reached in the EU.
And the people? The EU elections in may were won by right wing extremists like Ukip in the UK, Front National in France or the AFD in Germany. In the southern states like Greece and Spain, that are economically dependent on the so called troika new leftwing party like PODEMOS, izquierda unida (Spain) or Syriza (Greece) got up to 30 %, and the left partys are really reshaping.
The last weeks anti-muslim organisations in Germany supported by Hooligans, neonazis and a diverse middle class racist-society brought up to 15.000 people on the streets demonstrating against an “islamisation of western civilisation” in regions, where you have around 1 % moslems – stating the typical “we are not racist, we are no nazis, but…”.
Last week there were 3 refugee homes attacked in Nurnberg, Southern Germany, Svastika paroles by Neonazis were found on the houses. The German president condemned the attacked and said: “These are not our European Values”.What the European values mean in reality, is to be seen every day in Melilla & Lampedusa.
In the UK and Australia the Government warns potential illegal Immigrants and refugees in official campains to leave the country voluntarily. You are not welcome here.
So there is a clear tendency for the west and north to protect a status quo against what? migration? economy? religious beliefs? All economic sciences and studies show that migration helps the growth of economy. Refugee rights are international human rights protected by the Geneva Concention by the way.
It´s just fear: it´s Xenophobia and the search for a weak scapegoat and it´s a power attitude: The interiour minister of Germany De Maziere wrote a letter to C. Malmström, EU commissioner of internal affairs, in which he begged the EU for help concerning border controls, better surveillance, a consequent deportation of refugees falling under the the Dublin regulation, a cooperation with the transit states and of course “we have to fight the reasons of refuge in the states of origin”. He managed in a 4 – pages letter not to mention the word “Refugee protection” but uses the term “refugee problem” and “migration problem”. These politicians are the fire raisers of the racist attacks like it was in the 90ies in Germany.
This is shame, shame, shame! (thanks to the reporters of Report Mainz to publish the quoted letter.
The local politics failed providing standards for refugees and even local leftwing governments like in Berlin Kreuzberg promised rights for the refugees concerning their legal situation that in the end were denied by the state.
So what is to do in these shattered times? To my point of view: Protests, discussions, enlightement, sensisitation, talk, solidarity, concrete refugee neighborhood projects, to prevent a further right wing drift and in the long run the idea of a European Integration with the idea of common humanitarian standarts will be no more further perverted.
So sorry for this long abstract text, but I am really angry, working in this field for over 10 years now – and seeing the refugee laws more and more eroding.
But let´s close with something positiv: So here are 3 brilliant films concerning the topics of refugees and migration that were for me important in 2014, two of them we showed at the Weissensee MACHt Vielfalt projects. One is up in berlin cinemas still about the Mali invasion of the islamic force 2012. Timbuktu. It´s amazing and couragious.
* about Melilla, Spain and the Marocco transit zones *
The land between by David Fedele: See it for a few weeks more for free online:
* about the Berlin protest and the refugee School *
denise garcia bergt
and the beautiful filmmusic by mali musicians like Fatoumata Diawara
this is the song for the film: