A contribution from Beyond Europe which we would like to share with you…
A Beyond Europe call to keep up the pressure and fight for solidarity.
After the fire that destroyed the misery camp of Moria, those who have nothing are not only left in the ashes of the monster of European foreign policy, but are now also being trampled on.
The refugees who did not manage to flee from the camp and escape to the city were not provided with blankets, tents and water, but with tear gas and the sticks of the Greek police. The cops tried with all their might not to let the refugees leave the camp, while what little they left behind remains was burned the next night. Trapped on the island’s streets around the camp, they were surrounded by riot police, left alone, without sufficient food, water and medical care. Helpers, NGOs and journalists were largely kept away, leaving the people defenceless against the heat of the day, the cold of the night, the arbitrariness and violence of the police and the attacks of local fascists.
For the verdict of the ultra-conservative Greek government under Nea Demokratia had already been passed. The guilty ones were those who had been locked up for years in the hell of Moria in disregard of human rights, and those who tried to alleviate the greatest suffering or to make the conditions public. Their guilt was investigated where there was nothing left to investigate, in the remains of Moria, already pushed together by bulldozers. But the Greek propaganda must be confirmed, on the one hand to distract from their own guilt and on the other hand to curb the biggest fear of the European Union. The fear that the fire that destroyed Moria will spread to the countless other places in the EU, based on the same inhuman policy. Whether in Lampedusa, Cyprus, Spain or along the entire Balkan route, the border regime has created places that are not far behind Moria. Where people are imprisoned without dignity, without opportunities and without any perspective. Moria is not the only powder keg that the EU has created in recent years.
While the people of Lesvos are suffering, the European politicians responsible for this catastrophe are extremely concerned. However, lip service is still paid without insight and concrete measures to help. Under the leadership of Germany there is a diligent haggling about responsibility and ridiculous contingents, legitimized with excuses and the search for common European solutions.
Despite their situation and the repression, many people are still demonstrating. They demand freedom and do not want to be resettled in a new closed camp under any circumstances. They are disappointed and tired of the promises of European politicians. Many understand all too well by now that they have become a plaything and are being used as a warning to break the idea of the Summer of Migration 2015, the idea of a Europe of human rights, whose ashes are carried away by the wind, sinking into the Mediterranean.
The Greek state is trying to blackmail the refugees into the new closed camps through lack of supplies, the continuing great danger of Covid-19, the threat that their asylum procedure will be suspended and permanent police arbitrariness and violence. How long their resistance can hold under this pressure is uncertain and therefore it is up to us to support their struggle and make it ours.
The refugees clearly show that they do not want to be numbers anymore and that dehumanization has come to an end. They want to fight for their rights, their future, their security and their lives. A fight for the foundation of our society that shows whether human rights are universal or remain a privilege. Because in this world of exploitation and competition, on the last islands of wealth, there is not enough space for those who seem superfluous.
Moria is a magnifying glass for the mistakes of the capitalist society we live in, and an example of how the smoking remnants will only be preserved by increasingly authoritarian measures of the state. A foul and dirty deal with despot Erdogan was made and inhumane camps were created with no concept at all. No wonder, since a bunch of European states are led by far right or right-populist governments, who hijack international decision making to impose their idea of society: authoritarian on the inside, locked up for the outside.
From 2015 till now, the EU did not even come close to find a common strategy to deal with refugees arriving at European borders. Those refugees, the people, who have to flee their own countries from war, ecological, social and economic catastrophes. The effects of global capitalist businesses, which make many parts of Europe rich.
Throughout Europe, there have been various solidarity actions in favour of evacuating the camps, not only in Moria, but on the whole external borders of the EU. But neither the pressure in the streets nor the public discourse was enough to make the rulers act effectively, which they simply do not want.
This Sunday on 20.09. people will again take to the streets in countless cities. We must not try to keep up the appearance of the European values, which were burnt in Moria, but to stand up for something completely different. A society that is based on solidarity and equality and that creates livable spaces everywhere without destroying the basis of life of the people.
After all, Solidarity is the key. Today, it is vital to stand up for solidarity and freedom of movement for everyone. These buzzwords used to be our own labels for assuring ourselves of our own radical views. In these times, solidarity and freedom of movement are still radical. They are ideas from which we can advance a radical critique of capitalism. The difference is that many more people are open to these demands, because after years and years of tens of thousands killed at borders such as in the Meditarranean, the critique of the status quo goes far beyond the usual suspects. When we take solidarity and freedom of movement to the streets today, after the disaster of Moria, it is not to be a small and hopefully radical voice in the discourse, but it is to change something politically: Evacuate now. End the camps. Fight the Fortress.
See you on the streets!