borders instead of humanity – Why I accuse Europe for the murder of thousands of refugees

This is going to be a rant on a racist Europe that kills thousands of refugees each year. To put all my cards on the table, I disapprove of borders (writing this seems as trivial as saying I disapprove of being run over by a car but as it turns out, it is not as trivial). They exist so people inside the borders don’t have to deal with what is going on outside. The whole argument about people from all over the world coming to some presumably “developed” country and thus ultimately lower its standard of life, boils down to the attitude, that those who enjoy this standard of life don’t want to share it. They enjoy being on the favored side of the inequality. Of course, this inequality exists with or without borders. But with borders, it’s much easier not to look at it, making the people inside the borders feel good.
I am aware, that the world being the way it currently is, makes the vision of a human society without borders look like a leftist, anarchist utopia (to those who lack imagination and especially to those, who in fact appreciate their borders). I’m just writing this as a primer on why borders suck in general so you don’t have to point out my position, when I now continue to write, why they suck in particular.

The dying of more than thousand refugees in the Mediterranean during the last week has in fact very little to do with one’s stance on borders in general. Like them or not, it is apparent that people are willing to cross them at all costs, even risking their own lives. And it is also apparent, that the Mediterranean Sea is the kind of border, you either cross or you die. And the European border policy and police makes it clear, they rather see you die than crossing the Mediterranean. One could argue, this is not true, sure do the various European border guards rescue refugees in distress at sea. Oh these hypocrites. Making sure that refugees can’t just take the safe ferries from Tangier or Tunis – and, instead, have to resort to overloaded, life-threatening boats – and then even getting credit for picking a few back out of the water. So what’s gonna happen, if the coast guard destroys potential border crossing boats as has been proposed in the last days? Besides effectively destroying the fishing fleet of the North African countries…rubber boats! Even more distress at sea. Even more deaths.
So if all the people that expressed their sorrow over the most recent catastrophes would actually mean to save lives, they would allow legal and affordable ways of entering the country. What happens then, is where my leftist anarchist vision would come in. In my world, there would be people waiting for the newcomers with music and hot tea and the newcomers could immediately do and get what everyone else is allowed to do or entitled to get. The point is, even if one disagrees with this vision and everyone would have to apply to remain in the country and the application would be assessed according to the rule of the law (as it is now – at least in theory – the case for everyone who manages to get into Europe alive. The theory-qualification is due to the fact, that more often than not, refugees are not treated according to the rule of the law and instead are being abused or deported without a fair process), people would not have to die in the sea. So all the proposals of increasing the funds for search and rescue missions aren’t changing a thing, that refugees still have to resort to the dangerous sea in the first place. The green proposal to not only increase funds but also widen the area in which theses rescue missions can operate, is not an exception.
Therefore, if politicians wanted to save lives, they would NOW allow everyone to legally enter Europe. History has thought us that the unconditional opening of borders from one moment to the other is possible. Compared to the saving of thousands of lives, all the problems that may arise in consequence are subordinate. Kenia, Ethiopia, Jordan, Turkey and Iran have accepted more than 500.000 refugees each. Lebanon and Pakistan more then a million. Did this cause massive humanitarian problems in the refugees camps? Yes. Still, people choose these camp over residing in countries of war, terror, torture and/or political prosecution. I am not saying that massive, slum-like camps are the best way to treat people. They are actually pretty bad. Still, the rescuing of human lives must come first.

I don’t see this happening, though. And as a result, I accuse those in power in Europe and everyone who supports them of racism, as the life of a foreign refugees seem to weigh less than the quality of life of people from inside the border. Secondly, I accuse the same people of complicity to murder. As had been expressed several times, the death of refugees in the Mediterranean is not only accepted, it is used as a (inefficient) tool to control borders by scaring new people from crossing the sea by boat. Thus, refugees die by purpose of the European border policy. To me, that’s an act of active, fatal violence that I, lacking legal expertise but owning a common sense and some degree of sympathy, call murder. Shame on you, Europe.

  • Fleur Kelly

    Very well said Johann. We in Britain have an election coming up, I intend to use my vote to attempt to stop the Conservatives and even Labour getting back in power. The Greens are the only party who believe we should stop meddling in and overthrowing foreign governments that don’t follow the U.S corporate line and aggressive economic policies of the E.U. and the World Bank. The vacuums of chaos being left behind the botched attempts at imposing their will is growing. Syria, Iraq, Afghanistan, Libya etc. etc. No wonder there are refugees.

  • Johann Strube

    You are right, I didn’t even mentioned the role of Europe, why people flee in the first place.

    Good luck with the elections.