World Refugee Day 2023 arrives on the back of yet another tragedy in Greek waters. While the inhabitants of this planet – especially the most persecuted – continue to be in constant motion, our governments and our supra-national leaders (like the European Union) continue to build misanthropic walls and turn a blind eye to the illegal pushbacks and drownings of innocent people.
The perpetual movement of populations started since the very beginning of humanity and continuously intensifies with modern imperialist wars, poverty, destitution and climate catastrophe.
Refuge and migration are not voluntary processes, but, as Brecht wrote, a bitter story of uprooting:
“I always thought the name they gave us wrong: emigrants. That means people who leave. But we did not emigrate, leaving one country of our own free will and choosing another. Nor did we immigrate into some other country in order to stay, possibly forever. No, we fled. We are the persecuted, the banished.”
Today, as fences, walls and misanthropy are rising from all corners of our country, Europe and the world, while far-right intolerance is springing up again, it is as if we were back in the 1930s.
Today, when their wars are once again ‘giving birth’ to our dead and their profits are giving birth to our poverty, and the climate destruction for which they are responsible, gives birth to our dystopia.
Today, when our country commits daily crimes at its maritime and land borders, violating international law with the illegal repatriations by the Greek coastguard, the Greek border authorities and until recently with the “contribution” of the European Frontex. The crime of Pylos must not go unpunished. The responsibilities of the authorities and the racist policy that has imbued state practices are clear.
Today, as has been the case throughout history, the ‘problem’ is not whether you are a refugee or a migrant, but whether you are rich or poor, i.e. class-based.
In this modern unjust and inhumane world, we raise our solidarity, our humanity and our internationalism, breaking down the walls of racism and xenophobia and intensifying our struggle against the real root causes of refugees, migration, poverty and the climate crisis: their policies!
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