Socialist Worker

EU politicians seek racist solutions to refugee crisis

by Tomáš Tengely-Evans
Issue No. 2615

Its remin

It's reminniscent of the refugees who marched down the motorway from Hungary and forced Germany to open its border in the summer of 2015 (Pic: Mstyslav Chernov/WikiCommons)


Hundreds of refugees stormed a border fence in Morocco last Thursday in a bid to make it to safety in Europe.

Over 800 people charged the fence that separates Morocco and the Spanish-controlled enclave of Ceuta in North Africa. It is an important choke point where the European Union (EU) tries to lock out refugees who are fleeing war and poverty.

According to the Spanish paramilitary Guarda Civil police, refugees attacked the border fence with hammers and shears. And they threw stones at cops and used aerosol cans as flame throwers.

Around 602 refugees succeeded in making it into Spanish-held territory. Of those, 586 have been taken to a temporary reception centre.

Their actions are reminiscent of the refugees who marched down the motorway from Hungary and forced Germany to open its border in the summer of 2015. And it shows that refugees aren’t just passive victims of the West’s racism—but can also fight back against it.

The Spanish government has called on the EU to step in to stop Spain being turned into the “new Lampedusa”, an island next to Italy where migrants were detained. According to the International Migration Organisation (IMO), the number of migrants who’ve come into Europe through the Spanish route has increased to 19,586 this year.

That’s more than have arrived through Italy or who have come through Greece.

Hypocrisy

The Spanish government’s request shows the hypocrisy of the EU and its member states over the refugee crisis.

After Italy refused to let the rescue ship Aquarius dock last month, the Spanish government let it in. And some other EU leaders voiced disapproval about how the Italian government was dealing with the refugee crisis.

But their objection wasn’t to the Italian government’s racism.

The other EU states were concerned that they would have to process the refugees if the Italian government didn’t let them in.

Far right and racist governments in Austria, Italy and Hungary want to stop the flow of refugees by strengthening borders within Europe.

German chancellor Angela Merkel wants crackdowns at the EU’s external borders.

She had hoped to set up internment camps in North Africa, but the Algerian and Libyan authorities have refused.

Either way, it’s refugees who are killed by racist borders or left to drown in the Meditterranean. And those who do make it into Europe face police repression and squalid living conditions.

Around 1,000 refugees are still trapped at Britain’s border in Calais in northern France.

The only solution is to open the border and let the refugees in. And to do that, it’s crucial to build a mass movement that stands in solidarity with refugees and can push back the Tories’ racist offensive.


Synagogue attacked

A 51 year-old man has been charged with an attempted arson attack on a Jewish synagogue in Exeter.

Tristan Morgan is due to appear before Exeter Crown Court on 23 August.

He was arrested after CCTV footage showed a man trying to pour a liquid onto the synagogue on Saturday of last week.

Stand Up To Racism Devon said, “This is an appalling attack on Exeter Synagogue. It is an attempt to divide us, which will not succeed.

“We stand in solidarity with those who worship at the synagogue and who are victimised by such antisemitism.”

The attack takes place against the backdrop of rising antisemitism from the right across Europe.

It flows from the wider racist offensive against Muslims and migrants by the ruling class—unity is crucial to pushing it back.


Click here to subscribe to our daily morning email newsletter 'Breakfast in red'

Mobile users! Don't forget to add Socialist Worker to your home screen.