Breaking the walls of Fortress Europe
05.Jun.01 - A new ghost hangs around through Europe: it is the clandestine immigrant, the refugee, the fugitive, enbodiment of an invisible humanity without rights. All the powers of the old Europe are allied in chasing him away and in sending him back, in a crusade planned in Schengen among several politicians and policemen , building and defending 'fortress Europe'. Schengen is the substitute of a serious European policy on immigration, it is a void of ideas and proposals surrounded by a sanitary cordon of a thorough police and military nature. The inclination to solve the immigration problems as police ones is not only European, but it is one of the main features of the contemporary process of "globalisation".
The fall of barriers to the circulation of goods and capitals goes along with the multiplication of borders against women and men escaping from poverty, war, social and political tyrannies : from the "external borders" of the European Union to the borders between the United States and Mexico, through the new barriers against the mobility of women and men around Hong Kong, southern China, the countries of south-east Asia striked by the '97 crisis. The world that, after 1989, should have been progressively unifying in the name of 'soft trade' and now the 'new economy', appears none the less divided into old and new borders. External borders in the first place. But also borders internal to the national and regional single spaces, caused by an urging return in the capitalistic West itself of processes of social exclusion and restriction of the rights of citizenship.
Living symbols of that mobility of work, that has historically imposed its dynamic to capitalism, immigrants throw a meaningful light on the trends to deregulation and flexibility, that have redrawn the profile of the work market in highly developed capitalistic countries in the last twenty years. What appears in the first place an autonomus choice - the claim and the practice of fleeing from material poverty as well as from socially and politically tyrannical regimes - overturns actually in the imposition of a regime of precariousness, that finds in the condition of the clandestine the most effective and symbolically loaded exemplification. Social stigmatization and discrimination mark immigrants' everyday life within the European Union, in the towns where the rhetoric and policy of "zero tolerance" spread increasingly, at their work as well as in the forced internment camps for immigrants waiting to be expelled, arisen in Europe in the last years, where women and men are kept locked, guilty only of having the "wrong" nationality. Coming out, overcoming fear, fighting openly, being recognized as a political subject is of extreme importance for immigrants. The moment has come to start building up a great international demonstration on a european scale and open to the participation of delegations from other countries of the world, in order to regain all denied rights.
In July 2001 the G-8 top will take place at Genoa (Genova), Italy. We, immigrants, antiracist and antifascist organizations and associations of this town appeal to all immigrants in Europe to meet in Genoa during the days of this convention, in order to demonstrate, discuss and start building up new connection nets at international level.
The example of Seattle can and must find also in Europe an actual application especially with regards to the fight against racism and against social exclusion, which means against the consequences of those neo-liberal politics that every G-8 top or International Monetary Fund top present as the access to the best possible world.
It is a great battle the one we are going to start. The G-8 top of Genoa can be an important part of it if we succeed in giving visibility to the thousand sans-papiers, to the refugees, to the fugitives, in a great european demonstration of the immigrants and their associations for the denied rights, for free circulation, for the right of asylum, for the abolition of temporary residence centres and for the regularization of illegals, for the right to vote, for the right to live and fight for a society of equals with equal rights and equal duties, free from need and fear.
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