“Kill the Bill” was how we responded when Priti Patel’s Police, Crime, Sentencing and Courts Bill first made its way into the Commons. It proposed an overhaul to criminal justice, chiefly by making existing punishments for crimes much worse and introducing new ones that had troubling implications. This bill effectively criminalised protest, making it illegal to hold a demonstration that could potentially cause “annoyance”. We rioted, just as any people should when their freedoms are being threatened, when their lives are at risk of falling under a dictatorship.
But our protests were of no use, up against a government that wanted to do away with us and a police that were more than happy to oblige them. Our elected legislature, dominated by a party of elites marching in lockstep with their despotic leaders, voted in favour of the bill, secure in the knowledge that they’ll never be “annoyed” by the people ever again. Per our decrepit traditions that insist on the continued political empowerment of the nobility and clergy, the bill went through to the Lords for debate. Some placed their hopes in the supposed apolitical virtue of our aristocratic class to deliver us from tyranny, while others began to worry what those unelected sections of the ruling class had in store.
It’s difficult to penetrate the legalese deep enough to find out what these old fossils want to inflict on us. Initially these amendments didn’t seem so bad, with a number of attempts to reign in many of the more draconian aspects of the bill, some even trying to bolt-on their own ideas of what progressive justice legislation could be. But towards the end of the document you begin to dig up some incredibly heinous proposals.
Indeed, despite the best attempts of more humanitarian personalities within our aristocratic establishment, there are clearly within the government that are keen to make a bad bill worse. The Minister of State for Home Affairs Susan Williams was kind enough to mark her authoritarian aspirations with a star, just in case any anarcho-agitators out there might have lost it within all the drivel.
Baroness Williams makes no efforts to hide her disdain for the environmentalist protesters that have been such a pain in the Conservative Party’s arse in recent years. Lock-ons? Ban it. Blocking roads? Ban it. Standing on top a tube car preventing workers from getting home after a long day? You’d better believe they’re banning it. Indeed, if Extinction Rebellion’s performative protests and martyrdom complexes were supposed to invite repression, then they did their job. Because mere weeks after the Glasgow climate summit ended is the government focusing its energies not on helping the environment, but on clamping down on environmentalists.
Williams then brazenly calls for police to be granted “powers to stop and search without suspicion”, an amendment that would expand the already broad reach of the racist British police, by giving those bigoted cops a blank check to terrorise people as they please.
But saving best for last, Williams’ “serious disruption prevention order” goes into multiple pages of detail as to her plans for British dissidents: protesting is to be made illegal. This amendment outlines that any people convicted of a protest-related offence would be prohibited from taking part in any protests for up to 2 years, under penalty of a 1-year prison sentence. It should be no controversial statement to say that the adoption of this amendment into law would mark the definitive end of freedom of assembly in the United Kingdom. Many activists reading this now will know if and how this retroactive repression applies to them, although many of them may not know what to do about it.
Some might be happy to hear that these laws will not apply in Scotland, where policing is its own devolved matter. But before all of you start packing your bags and heading north of Hadrian’s Wall, consider what we have just seen. Only last month, 10,000 English police invaded Scottish soil to terrorise those that were simply attempting to hold their leaders to account. The Westminster junta does not care about Scotland’s laws, it barely cares about its own. What it cares about is control.
How can this be all that the British state cares about, surely it is better than this? Well it is not. These heavy-handed approaches to violating the population are no stranger to the British state. The Tudor slob Henry VIII was one of the first to implement authoritarian rule, when the English reformation forced generations of Catholics underground, lest they fear the wrath of the divine monarchy. In the 1790s, the Tory saint William Pitt the Younger responded to the revolutionary wave that had swept America and Europe by establishing a police state, dedicated to sweeping out any dissident elements who dared imagine a better society than one ruled by king and cronies. During World War II, the government decided that in order to fight totalitarianism it had to adopt totalitarianism, enforcing the internment of conscientious objectors and the conscription of workers into a regime of forced labour.
Our current system draws from this history of domestic oppression, with one new ingredient thrown into the mix: the colonial boomerang. While living British people may not have known the iron fist of their benefactor state until recently, the many colonies of the Empire knew it like their own hands. Ireland experienced hundreds of years of colonial dictatorship at the hands of its English occupiers, who dissolved the peoples’ ancestral legal codes in favour of its own despotic rules. During the early-20th century in India, anyone even vaguely suspected of contributing to the anti-imperialist cause was subject to arbitrary internment, anyone that dared protest against their treatment by the colonisers were liable to be murdered by colonial cops. In 1969, the Metropolitan police invaded Anguilla in order to suppress its own breakaway from the empire, bringing it back into the imperial core where it remains as an “overseas territory” to this day. What we are experiencing now is what those on the receiving end of the British Empire have experienced for hundreds of years, our colonial policing system has simply come home to roost.
It is for this reason that we must make something clear: the United Kingdom and all its institutions must be liquidated. The urge to restrain and reform its more oppressive impulses is a noble desire, but a foolish one. The Police, Crime, Sentencing and Courts Bill merely represents the culmination of centuries of governmental autocracy, these amendments mark only the latest targets for its repressive apparatus. No matter how much we protest, petition or plea with our rulers to do otherwise, this bill will make its way through parliament and into law. We will lose our freedom of assembly and it will only be the first of many freedoms that will be lost in the coming years.
The opposition will not save us. The aristocrats and their moribund monarch will not deliver us. The police will not look at their new powers and simply decide to be delicate in their approach. The British state is designed to be this way. It has been designed to be this way for nearly a thousand years.
Our solution to the coming regime cannot be one of light nudges and petty gestures, it must be one of fire and carnage. If the Westminster junta cannot deal with our right to say “no” to their edicts and diktats, then it becomes necessary to say “no” to the whole damn thing. Once this bill passes, and it will pass, it must be taken as a sign to put a torch to the entire legal regime of Police, Crime, Sentencing and Courts. A sign that our own justice system is not fit for purpose, that we must replace it with one that we can ourselves implement and control. A new justice system, designed for the pursuit of justice, rather than persecution.
If the state cannot respect our dissent, then why should we accept its existence? ■
On Wednesday 8 December, the House of Lords will begin amending the Police, Crime, Sentencing and Courts Bill.
Join the protest at 5-7pm in Victoria Tower Gardens, Westminster (adjacent to Lambeth Bridge north side).
 With the exception of abstentions by a few quivering cowards, Johnny Mercer (Moor View), Anne Marie Morris (Newton Abbot) and Charles Walker (Broxbourne), the entire Parliamentary Conservative Party voted for the bill. The abstentions were joined by the Brownite snake Steve McCabe (Selly Oak), but it was otherwise opposed by everyone else.
 These include an amendment to respect the “right to protest”, supported by the former Fabian Alf Dubs, the embodiment of upper-class environmentalism Jenny Jones, the cop-turned-Liberal-Aristocrat Brian Paddick, and our own libertarian Lord Peter Hain.
 One of which includes the implementation of a Women’s Justice Board, proposed by the Liberal Lords Jonathan Marks and Mike German. Another includes the repeal of the 1824 Vagrancy Act, by Richard Best, the former Mayor of Watford Dorothy Thornhill, the Blairite stooge Charlie Falconer and the Aussie vanguard of the Green Party’s golden age Natalie Bennett.
 Racialised people are already six times more likely to be stopped than white people.
For 16 days, the people of Isfahan protested the drying up of the Zayanderud River. Lack of water and lack of access to historical waterways, as well as the evaporation of the Zayanderud and Gavkhouni wetlands have destroyed Isfahan’s ecosystems. The development of industry in the city has even caused soil subsidence and threatened various buildings. In short, the water crisis is the result of the deliberate destruction of the environment.
The protests against these fundamental issues and the basic right to life have been met with gunfire and tear gas. According to official statistics from the Isfahan police force, more than 67 people have been arrested in these rallies. However, unconfirmed reports put the number of detainees at more than 260. More than 30 protesters were injured in the eye and some have lost their eyes. Among these people are 15 and 16 year old teenagers. Thirteen of the detainees are children. Security forces even evacuated the injured from the hospitals to the detention center.
It's clear from the impact wounds that people have been shot at very close distance with shotguns, likely within 30 meters. These have been load with shells containing lead shot, which isn't easily removed and can have irreversible effects to peoples health.
Of course, the security forces have used shotguns to suppress protesters before. During the protests known as Golestan 7, which started at midnight on February 5, 1996, bullets were used by the large presence of security forces around the house of Dr. Noor Ali Tabandeh, the Gonabadi dervishes' hub. A number of citizens responded in solidarity with the injured protestors, by posting pictures of themselves on social media with their eyes closed, protesting against the violence of the security forces in the suppression and their use of weapons such as shotguns that caused irreparable damage to the protestors’ eyes.
What stood out most in these protests was the strong presence of women, who showed up to chant slogans and confront their oppressors, causing a great deal of concern and protest by religious extremists. As always, Iranian state-run news agencies have released their own images to discredit the images of the protesters' horrific repression and the burning of their tents, linking them to people other than the security forces. One such image was of a woman in front of the camera saying "set fire to tents" and "provoked" farmers. He also staged a picture of a man talking in front of the camera. Of course, the circumstances under which these confessions were confiscated are not clear, and human rights organizations have repeatedly accused the Iranian government of disseminating forced and false confessions.
What was the reason for these protests? Various factors such as the drought of Zayanderud, mismanagement of the water crisis in Iran and protests against the Islamic Republic have been among the reasons and motives of the Isfahan protesters. In the summer of 2021 (1400), this year’s rainy season, rainfall in Iran reached about fifty percent of what it was a year ago, and 40 percent below the long-term average, making it one of the driest years in the last half century. In Eastern and South Eastern provinces such as Hormozgan, Sistan and Baluchestan, Fars, Kerman, Razavi Khorasan and South Khorasan, the drop in rainfall has been reported between 50 and 85%. On the other hand, in the western and southwestern provinces of Kurdistan, Kermanshah, Ilam, Lorestan and Chaharmahal and Bakhtiari, the decrease in rainfall is quite noticeable. Also, the temperature in the spring of 2021 (1400) was about two to three degrees higher than the long-term average of the country. This drought has caused crises in drinking water supply, agricultural production and electricity generation in Iran. ■
Written by a collective of Iranian comrades, edited by Organise.
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Guards come and laugh at me through the bars of my cell.
“You’re the English, right?”, they ask me. “What are you doing here?”
“You tell me,” I say, for the hundredth time. But they just laugh, and wander off.
I am the only Westerner in a detention centre full of thousands of refugees. I am also the only inmate waiting to be deported to the UK - though of course, I am pretty much the only person here who would not do anything for a one-way plane ticket to London. In a similar irony, the Greek police who run the facility make it very plain they do not want any of my fellow inmates (Afghans, Iranians, Pakistanis, North Africans) in their country. And yet it is the same police force which violently arrested them and prevented them leaving.
Earlier this year, while on holiday in Greece, I was detained at the Italian border, arrested, thrown into the Greek detention and migration system for two months, and informed I was banned from the Schengen Zone for the next ten years. Though I still haven’t been provided with any documentation about the ban, it appears likely that I am being targeted as a result of my reporting and media advocacy from North and East Syria (NES), the democratic, women-led, autonomous region built around Syrian Kurdistan (Rojava), which the Turkish government is hell-bent on destroying. Chillingly, it seems the autocratic Turkish government now has the power to impose a unilateral ban from Europe on a British citizen, professional journalist and media activist like myself.
My two months in detention were just a brief taste of what many refugees, political activists and journalists from the Middle East and beyond must spend a lifetime enduring. My case provided a window into the violence, squalor and farce of day-to-day life in the EU’s detention-deportation machine. But it also illustrates the complicity of European states and the Erdoğan regime in suppressing journalistic freedom, political dissent, and democratic movements.
Inside the Greek migrant detention system
While travelling from Greece to Italy with a friend earlier this year, I was met off the ferry at the Italian border by a group of armed, balaclava-clad police. I was banned from the Schengen Zone for ten years, they told me, at the request of the German government. Thus began my whirlwind tour of the Greek migrant detention system. The port where I was arrested, Ancona, lies on a popular route for people without papers trying to travel through Greece on to Western Europe, and so the Greek police simply dealt with me as they would deal with any irregular migrant pushed back from Italy by the Italian police.
I was variously detained in Patras police station, the notorious Migrant Pre-Removal Detention Center at Korinthos which was condemned by the Committee to Prevent Torture, and another Pre-Removal Center in Petrorali, Athens. Conditions were as you might expect. The police station in Patras only has small holding cells, but I spent a week here sleeping on the bare stone. Others were held in the same conditions for a month or more. For days at a time I was locked in my cell and not allowed to mix with other inmates, passing the time squashing cockroaches and playing chess with myself on a contraband paper set. Most of my fellow inmates were cut and bruised from the beatings they’d received upon arrest, trying to smuggle themselves onto ferries at the port. On one occasion, the police violently beat a petty drug dealer on the floor outside my cell.
One day then I and a group of my new friends – Afghan migrants – were handcuffed and bundled into a windowless van. To keep us quiet, the police implied we were soon to be released, but instead we found ourselves issued with new prison numbers and lined up along the wall at Korinthos, a massive, police-run prison facility officially known as a ‘Pre-Removal Detention Center’. This name, we soon learned, was a farce, since there were virtually no ‘removals’ (deportations) taking place due to the coronavirus crisis.
Officially, people here should have exhausted all possible legal routes to remain in the EU, or else voluntarily accepted deportation. In practice, they are held for six to eighteen months or even more before suddenly being released – sometimes with the assistance of the shadowy lawyers who circle the centre like vultures demanding huge cash payments for unclear forms of ‘assistance’, sometimes seemingly at random. People are interviewed about their asylum cases, but these days everyone is being rejected, regardless of the validity of their case. Some people are released, re-arrested days later, and placed back in the detention centre for another undetermined spell.
In Korinthos, as elsewhere, the system is totally opaque. All NGOs are banned from entering. Particularly Kafkaeseque is the way some guards will tell you whatever you want to hear, some will say they know nothing, and some will tell you to fuck off, with added racist abuse, where applicable: but they are all simply trying to make their own lives easier. It is is impossible to know how your case is going, where you will be sent next, when your interview will be, whether the lawyers (who never actually visit their clients in the detention facility, only occasionally shouting at them through the barbed wire) really can speed up your release. The conditions are squalid, with frequent water outages, and up to forty men sharing each cell.
The result is desperation. In the cell where I stayed, one Kurdish refugee had recently killed himself in desperation, hanging himself with two phone chargers woven together. The lights are kept burning 24 hours a day, and yet when the residents need a doctor or the water runs dry, no-one comes. I see one long-term inmate climb up the prison building and threaten to throw himself off just to get access to a dentist. Another slashed himself all over with a razor after being consistently denied access to the doctor for his agonising kidney problems. There are hunger strikes, fights, clashes with the guards with stones and burning mattresses. For the final two weeks I am transferred to a higher-security facility in Petrorali, Athens, where we once again spend most of the time in isolation. Here, more troubled inmates kept in isolation thrash against the bars, screaming, cursing, begging, fighting.
Rumours fly through the bars as frequently as the cigarettes and tea-bags passed around via cardboard chutes. Transfers occur in windowless vans. On arrival at a new facility, we are stripped and cavity searched and have our blood taken and are given injections, but not told what the injection is for, fostering a dangerous paranoia among the migrant population. When I arrive at Petrorali the medical staff tell me, laughing, that I have somehow contracted multiple forms of hepatitis: that I will never be able to have children: and that there is nothing to be done about this. They send me back to my cell, untreated. It is only after many weeks of worry later, back in England, that my doctor tells me I have nothing to worry about, and what the Greek tests in fact picked up were my vaccinations against the disease. Whether this was done through malice or oversight, I don’t know.
I see much comradeship and joy, too. In Patras a brace of Hells’ Angels being held on drug charges make the migrants and I laugh by breaking wind, share the festal food brought in by their wives for orthodox Easter, advise the young Afghans on how to handle the guards. In Korinthos we organise language classes, legal training ahead of the migrants’ admissability interviews, work-out sessions where we leg-press the fattest guy in the cell, a clandestine livestream where we relay conditions in the prison to the outside world. We play ludo, chess, football, run out into the yard in the rain and belly-flop on the flooded concrete. I write poetry on the cell wall, Blake, Milton: The mind is its own place, and in itself can make a heaven of hell, a hell of heaven. We laugh a lot, debate politics and religion, comfort one another as best we can.
When I am woken at dawn for the last time and put on a plane back to the UK, my overriding emotion is guilt that I cannot bring all my new friends and comrades with me. But it is all I can do to dish out my last remaining cigarettes before I am handcuffed, and swept away.
A cause worth defending
Six months later, back in the UK, I am still trying to get my hands on any official paperwork to explain exactly what has happened. Since I have never had anything to do with the German authorities, and given Germany’s strong trade ties and strategic relationship with Turkey, it appears likely Turkey asked Germany to issue the ban. This was done via an opaque institution known as the Schengen Information System, which has “been the target of sustained criticism by academics, EU bodies and civil rights organisations” since its inception.
But why should the Turkish government care so deeply about a British journalist on holiday in Greece?
You will have seen the world-famous images of ‘Kurdish women fighting ISIS’ broadcast around the world, as Kurdish-led forces spent years pushing back ISIS from strongholds like Raqqa before totally eradicating their caliphate in March 2019 – as the main partner force of the Global Coalition to Defeat ISIS, led by the US but including the UK, Germany, and almost all Schengen Zone member states. You will probably also have seen footage from the two Turkish invasions of the region, including the October 2019 assault greenlit by Donald Trump. Turkish warplanes and tanks backed radical militias including scores of former ISIS members to take over swathes of NES, looting, raping, pillaging and murdering as they conduct forcible ethnic cleansing against the region’s Kurdish, Yezidi and Christian minorities.
But beyond the frontlines, the political project in NES has endured. Several million people now live in a system of direct, grassroots democracy, with guaranteed female participation and women’s leadership at all levels of political and civil life. The project is not flawless, but in a region beset by war, poverty and a total breakdown of infrastructure, NES continues to guarantee remarkably high standards of human rights, rule of law, and due process. The three years I spent living and working in NES were an education in both utopic thinking and practical action, as I witnessed refugees coming together around cooperative farming projects to beat the Turkish-imposed embargo on the region, and the women of Raqqa taking control of their own autonomous council in defiance of ISIS’ continued presence. The revolution is very much alive.
You may also be aware that a number of Westerners have travelled out to join the ‘Rojava revolution’. At first, many joined the military struggle against ISIS, with scores sacrificing their lives in the process. But these days, the majority of Western volunteers work in the burgeoning civil sphere, in women’s work, health, education – or, in my case, media.
I am a professional journalist, and during my time in Syria I filed reports for top international news sources like VICE, the Independent, and the New Statesman, as well as hosting a documentary series for a Kurdish TV channel. But my main role was as a co-founder of the region's top independent news source, Rojava Information Center (RIC). As RIC, we worked with all the world's top media companies and human rights organizations, including the BBC, ITV, Sky, CNN, Fox, Amnesty, Human Rights Watch, the United Nations, the US Government, and many more, to help them cover the situation on the ground.
Our raison d’etre was connecting these news sources with people on the ground, to help them understand the reality of NES, without propaganda. I never sought to hide my presence in Syria, or what I was doing there. On the contrary, I was proud to lend my voice to both advocate for and criticise a political project I wanted the international community to recognise, understand, and engage with.
Working in Kurdistan as a journalist is enough to incur political repression from Turkey. Turkey is the world’s number one jailer of journalists, has the highest incarceration rate in Europe, and in recent years has dismissed or detained over 160,000 judges, teachers, civil servants and politicians, particularly targeting Kurdish politicians and members of the pro-Kurdish and pro-democratic party HDP. Turkey’s actions reach far beyond Turkey and the regions it invades and occupies in Syria and Iraq, with Turkish intelligence going so far as to assassinate three female Kurdish activists in Paris in 2013, while fascist ‘Grey Wolves’ paramilitaries linked to Erdoğan’s AKP party regularly carry out violent attacks in Europe.
But the EU must turn a blind eye to these abuses, because it relies on Turkey to host millions of refugees who would otherwise travel into Europe. Turkey uses these refugees as leverage to threaten Europe, even while its invasions of NES and military interventions in Libya, Nagorno-Karabakh and elsewhere force hundreds of thousands of people to flee their homes in the face of ethnic cleansing. Absurdly, even Kurdish refugees in the EU must prove that Turkey is not safe for them, with almost all applications being rejected – if Turkey was shown to be unsafe, after all, that would mean the EU admitting it was refouling migrants into life-threatening danger, in defiance of international law.
The issue is not Turkey alone. EU and Western governments regularly target, harass and detain their own nationals for lending support to the democratic project in NES or the Kurdish rights movement. Volunteers who fought against ISIS have been charged and jailed in Denmark, Australia, Italy, Spain, France and my own home country, the UK. Danes and Australians can be jailed simply for setting foot in NES – something the UK has threatened, but never enacted.
Fighting for women’s rights, democracy and freedom should not be a crime. But as my case illustrates, this repression is not limited to combatants. In the UK, even members of ecological delegations have been detained under terror laws and prevent from travelling to the region. Facing intense, targeted police harassment, unable to find work as a result, feeling isolated and alone, several former volunteers have killed themselves. At least one other British volunteer in NES has been handed the same ten-year ban from the Schengen Zone as myself, and we suspect other peaceful activists have also been listed on the SIS.
Turkish pressure therefore contributes to Western governments’ own desire to stop the spread of the decentralised, transformative vision of society put forward by NES. (Turkey, of course, knows they incur much more negative press when their bombs kill British or European citizens than when they are simply wiping out Kurdish and Arab locals – one reason why continued Western engagement in NES is so important.)
Erdoğan is able to use the millions of Syrian now resident in Turkey to tacitly or openly threaten Europe with another influx of refugees if they do not acceed to his demands. The UK is particularly close to Turkey as a key trading partner, the more so post-Brexit, and accordingly takes a much harder line against NES than, say, France or the USA, both of whom have welcomed NES’ political leaders to the White House and the Champs Elysee. Notably, in the UK, repressive moves have come in response to high-level meetings between Turkey and the UK, in particular when arrests targeted not only former volunteers in NES but even their family members in the days following Erdoğan’s 2019 visit to London.
The same shared interests lie behind my own, relatively brief, detention. The political movement in NES resists borders and the violence inherent in the capitalist nation-state. These ideas are anathema to Erdoğan, but they also constitutes a challenge to the EU border regime. Little wonder, then, that Turkey and the EU work together to stifle legitimate journalism and political advocacy.
Outside the law
As the British novelty act in the Greek detention center, I was of course spared the racism, the violence, and the worst of the uncertainty. I knew it would only be so long before I was back in the UK, where, though I had to sit through a ‘Schedule 7’ interview on my return, the police assured me that I have no charges to face and have done nothing wrong in the eyes of the law. It is an immense frustration to be summarily banned from Europe, but then I FaceTime with friends still detained in Korinthos or playing the dangerous ‘game’ trying to jump onto lorries at Patras ferry port, and I remember how incredibly free I am.
The effect of repression against Western volunteers, activists and journalists who have worked in NES is to place us, temporarily, outside the normal protections afforded to UK or EU citizens. Millions of civilians in NES, like millions of migrants in Europe, exist in this vacuum as their constant condition. Turkey feels it has impunity to rape, murder, bomb and ethnically cleanse in NES, which remains unrecognised by any government or international organisation, despite its leading role in defeating ISIS. The Greek police can beat, humiliate and dehumanise the migrants in Patras, Korinthos or Petrorali as much as they please, knowing no lawyers or NGOs are able to enter the detention centres to monitor their behaviour.
The inmates of the Greek migrant detention system and the free people of NES are both victims of the same system, which sacrifices peoples’ lives in the name of bilateral trade agreements, arms sales, and ethno-nationalist state politics. But this is precisely why I, and other international supporters of the political movement in NES, have chosen to make our voices heard, even in the face of imprisonment and police repression. This is why I hope my ban will be overturned, and that I can continue my peaceful journalism and advocacy in support of this vital cause.
The vision being promoted in NES, of local, decentralised, grassroots democracy, is the only way to resolve not only the Syrian conflict but also a global crisis occasioned by capitalist extraction overseen by neo-imperialist states. Only in this way can we provide people with what they want most - a safe home they have no need to flee.■
Matt is a journalist, organiser and co-founder of the Rojava Information Center, the top news and research organisation in North and East Syria
(Originally published on Deportation Monitoring Aegean)
27 People have died attempting to cross the English Channel.
They died because of Fortress Europe.
They died because the state uses the Channel like a moat.
They died because nationalism, and bigotry is rife.
They died because the privileged do not care about the vunerable.
Their names join the list of near 45,000 documented deaths of refugees and migrants due to the restritive policies of “Fortress Europe” since 1993.
The British and French government each blame the other, and both blame the “smugglers” but neither acknowledge that those 27 people died because of these situation they are placed in by us.
We could have a heart, we could use our vast wealth and resources to house people in need.
We don't. Capitalism doesn't allow for compassion and the jingo laden civic fascism that underlines our border policies would never allow it anyway.
This isn't a freak event. This was expected, everyone just counting down the clock. It's narrowly been avoided dozens of times and we're just talking about the Channel here. The Mediterranean is even worse. Away from prying eyes, Coast Guard's have for years used offensive tactics such as “push back”. We'll never really know how many have drowned on the journey.
In September 2021, Channel Rescue volunteers witnessed the UK border force training its staff to use jet skis to employ ‘pushback’ tactics at sea. The aim behind this? To stop small boats carrying people seeking asylum from reaching the UK’s shores. Early on yesterday, before the horrific tradgedy came to light, they announced they they were going to take Priti Patel, Secretary of State UK Home Office, to court to ensure that ‘pushback tactics’ are NEVER used against people seeking asylum in the UK. Support them!
The Channel has become a graveyard for innocent people who have been forced to flee. Our UK government and Home Office must acknowledge they're complicit. No more blaming French authorities or people smugglers, what we desperately need is a new system that allows people to claim asylum safely.
An emergency protest has been called for later today outside the home office at 6.30pm.
A threat to one of us is a threat to all of us. No more violent policing of borders, no more detention centres, no more channel deaths, no more deaths at the hands of the state. On Saturday Stand Up to Racism have called for a demo at Downing Street. They want people to assemble for 2pm.
As I am putting this togather I can see that Alarm Phone spent the night in contact with some 430 people, the boat is breaking up, there are already dead people, they are in the Maltese SAR, the various Coast Guards known but are not helping.
This is happening now as I type.
This is happening as you read.
They are dying because the privileged do not care about the vunerable.
They are dying because nationalism, and bigotry is rife.
They are dying because the states of Europe use the Mediterranean like a moat.
They are dying because of Fortress Europe.