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In defence of humanity, migrants and their free movement and acceptance in Europe and against neo-fascism

At this time in Europe extreme right-wing and neo-fascist forces are rapidly gaining ground amongst significant sectors of the population, generating waves of hatred against migrants and refugees, who they blame for the maladies of our societies, unemployment, low wages, the social and economic crisis, the rise in delinquency and sexism.

And as a result those extremist forces, together with some who from positions on the centre-left and right-wing have adopted certain of their postulates, are increasing the already existing, unjust migratory policies, such as massive expulsions; they are closing borders and condemning tens of thousands of migrants to die in the waters of the Mediterranean, the deserts of Africa and other nameless places, denying them basic human rights, life and the right to migrate.

Facing this situation we declare:

1. The responsibility for this crisis, produced by the development of neoliberal strategies, lies with the elites that govern Europe and not with the migrants and refugees. The policies of those elites generate unemployment and precariousness, resulting in social cuts and the elimination of essential public services. They use immigration as a scapegoat and in order to encourage xenophobic feelings and strife amongst the poor, in order to win votes and enable those who rule us to evade their responsibility.

However, the presence of migrants and refugees in Europe is positive. It enriches our societies, our forms of life and our attitudes towards others. It strengthens the development of coexistence between people who are different, and boosts processes of solidarity and the search for equality.

For that reason, we denounce the manipulation and falsity of the discourse that blames migration for the current social and economic crisis in Europe and hides the responsibility of the European elites for that crisis.

2. The European Union, the European governments and the big transnational companies are responsible for the migratory exodus: millions of people flee from wars that are nourished by weapons manufactured in Europe, and from the misery provoked by neo-colonialist trade policies, social disruption arising from those policies, the pillaging of mineral and energy resources, the buying up of land that displaces hundreds of thousands of people and the environmental destruction that is responsible for climate change.

They are likewise responsible for the consequences of that exodus: the death, imprisonment, enslavement and inhuman treatment of thousands of people on their long journey to Europe; and for the violence exercised during that journey against minors, LGBTI people and women, many of whom are forced into prostitution.

The violation of the Human Rights of refugees and migrants is also a constant factor once they arrive in Europe: here they suffer from violence, discrimination and exploitation, which is especially aggravated in the case of migrant women.

For that reason we demand

  • the strict fulfilment of the Universal Declaration of Human Rights, that all migrants should be able to move freely and enjoy the same rights as the rest of us who live in Europe
  • an end to the externalisation of borders, the manufacture and sale of European weapons, the pillage of resources and the buying up of land, as well as a substantial change in the current commercial and economic policies
  • migratory policies that are in keeping with human rights, an end to the expulsions and the establishment of safe transit routes for those who want to migrate from their countries.

3. In Europe solidarity with refugees and migrants, expressed by Europeans and networks of migrants, is being criminalised by authoritarian and extremist governments as well as by conservative and centre-left governments.

Saving lives, providing solidarity and supporting those who have been robbed of everything, welcoming them, living together with them, defending them legally, and helping them to find a new opportunity in a new land, have all become crimes.

For that reason we propose that it is time not only to put an end to this criminalisation but also to support – in the corresponding local, national, state-level and international spheres – these people and organisations and to commend the values they defend.

4. The rejection, deportation and growing persecution of migrants and refugees led by the extreme right-wing and fascist forces in Europe as a central element in their political strategy, have as their goal, in the first place, to put an end to the political and social thought and activity that fights to establish a society of equal rights and liberties, ruled by the values and practices of dignity, respect, solidarity, inclusion and democracy, in short, values of humanity.

In the second place, that strategy seeks to build an authoritarian and patriarchal society based on hatred and the exclusion of vulnerable, impoverished, excluded, different and migrant people.

Confronting those racist institutional policies of exclusion and rejection is today an active key to standing up to and halting the implantation in Europe of an antihuman way of life, which is being proposed by extremist forces of the right and neo-fascists and those who support them in response to the failure of social Europe, the curtailing of rights and the crisis of democracy.

  • For that reason we commit ourselves to reject policies of hatred and discrimination as a norm of coexistence, and to defend the values of humanity and solidarity as a way of life in Europe.

And while those policies of hatred and exclusion are not erased from our societies, the causes of migrations eliminated, and the goal of rights for all achieved – because rights that are not for everyone are a privilege –

  • We commit ourselves to recall that all people have always been migrants: our elders and our parents suffered from the pain and misery of migrations, exile and inequality – and our children and descendants will probably suffer from them as well.
  • For all of the above reasons we commit ourselves to demonstrate our active solidarity with people who now suffer from that situation and consider them an integral part of our societies.