Tens of thousands of demonstrators marched this weekend in London, Copenhagen, Madrid, Stockholm and other European cities to demonstrate their support for the refugees. “Refugees Welcome” and “Open the borders” could be read on the banners. More than ever, we will need to again express our solidarity with these families, with these workers who risk their lives to flee war or poverty.
Our solidarity, their hypocrisy
The Merkel Government, which presented itself as an example of European kindness, just this weekend restored border controls at its bounadry with Austria, on the pretext that some cities have become “overwhelmed”. In truth, it is simply a lousy political gesture to please the right wing of its party, and a sordid way to haggle over the distribution of the migrants with the other European governments. To organize the welcome of hundreds of thousands of refugees, immediately, is only a matter of means. At other times the richest countries of Europe like Germany during the East-West reunification for example, or France welcoming one million returning “Blackfoot” from Algeria, were able to quickly implement the necessary structures for hosting and integrating.
The prize for hypocrisy goes to Hollande. What does he offer? To welcome in France… 24,000 refugees over two years, while he considers dropping bombs on Syria! This summer, the same hawkish Hollande even used the religious overtones of Georges Bush, referring to the offensive of “Good” against “Evil”, in a new disastrous crusade. Yet, we know that these air strikes, alongside American Airforce, are primarily responsible for the rise of the Islamic State in Iraq. Not to mention the thousands of victims of those bombings, which can only throw still more refugees on the roads…
We do not fight against unemployment by pushing out our brothers and sisters from overseas
Some workers think there’s too much unemployment in France to accommodate refugees. But let’s think a second: if we refuse to welcome them, considering them as competitors, are we going to bring down unemployment and get proper housing? The bosses will simply be delighted to see us weak, divided, competing with each other.
When bosses lay off their employees, it is not because the economy does not provide enough jobs. It is to over-exploit those they keep and increase the dividends paid to their shareholders. Unemployment, housing crisis, this is not an economic inevitability. It is a matter of class war against all the exploited, with or without papers. It’s only a matter of balance of power, a political problem.
Our solidarity, our strength
We could all be stronger y supporting each other. Among the refugees, many fought against their dictators, it would be very useful to have them on our side, to take advantage of their determination, their courage.
There is no shortage of jobs to be filled, in hospitals, schools, post offices, transportation, in the factories where the workload is more and more unbearable. There would be more than enough money to share the work between all, and to finance a giant project of housing construction, if we took from the profits and all the subsidies paid to big business. How can we impose this to all the bourgeois, who stand firmly together?
By standing together. We, workers, have a strong interest in actively showing our solidarity with these migrant workers. They can be our future allies in the struggle against unemployment and low wages, for social justice. We must refuse to allow ourselves to be divided by boundaries and prejudices. Our common interest is to fight together against employers and governments that spread unemployment, war and misery to the four corners of the world.