Solidarity with people in Ventimiglia


At dawn on Wednesday September 30th two bulldozers and three trucks in
six hours demolished a place of solidarity, built in three months thanks
to the support of migrants and activists from all across Europe. They
believed that by destroying the tents, the kitchen and the showers they
would be able to destroy the No Borders struggle. They were mistaken.
The No Borders camp has shown that solidarity can overcome borders,
contrasting the physicality of the border at Ventimiglia/Mentton with
the inclusivity of the camp, a truly international site of struggle for
the free movement of people.
What we have seen in Ventimiglia is happening elsewhere, in Choucha,
Lampedusa, Calais and Paris: places of resistance, which represent the
internal and external borders of Fortress Europe. The sites of crossing
where the policing of the movement of people is at its most intense and
most brutal. The violence of a horrifically violent journey culminates
here, at these points of entry.
And the violence is not just physical. Kept in a state of legal limbo,
refugees massed at the confines of Europe are being used as pawns in the
political games between states, who waste time squabbling whilst
people’s lives hang in the balance.
When the European Union professes its commitment to “free movement”,
what does this really mean? The mechanisms allowing free movement within
Europe, such as Shengen, are simply a means of enforcing the hierarchy
between citizens and non-citizens. Asylum seekers have no freedom of
movement whatsoever, the restrictive European asylum regime and the
Dublin regulations are the mechanisms which apply to them.
Force and control are not the only strategies deployed by the European
Union, as it oscillates between the complete shutting down of its
frontiers and a racist and classist selectionism, as it attempts to seek
out what benefits it can draw for itself from this humanitarian
disaster. One aspect of this is the capitalist entrepreneurs in the
reception states who seek to profit from the “business” of
humanitarianism, vying for the funds set aside for the reception of
refugees. Another is the exploitation of illegal migrant labour by
states who refuse to regularise the status of migrants, because by doing
so they are deliberately creating a pool of highly vulnerable easily
exploitable workers.Less than one month ago it was said that in Ventimiglia there were no
longer any migrants, and yet the reality was that there have been up to
220 staying in the camp at any one time. Now they admit that on the day
the camp was destroyed, a group of around eighty migrants who lived at
the camp was broken up, with some being handed over to the police to be
detained and others to the Red Cross. It was called “a day of solutions”.

The border is still closed, however, and the migrants who risked their
lives on the rocks of Ventimiglia beach to claim their right to
self-determination, have been forced onto the streets.

And we, as citizens of Europe who chose to give our solidarity, will
stay by their side. We remain united in our struggle until their
“solutions” stop coming and the border opens. This was the decision that
was taken by the first assembly of the Ventimiglia No Borders camp in
exile. Destroying our things and surrounding us with riot police will do
nothing to resolve the misery that is being caused by this border.

More and more refugees continue to arrive, and the same violations are
perpetrated everyday. The authorities may have taken our shelter, but
they have not broken us. Today we are stronger than ever, more
determined and more united. We are making this international appeal to
all those who, like us, are convinced that this fight has only just
begun and that now is the time to shout in unity with all our might:




This entry was posted in Solidarity statements. Bookmark the permalink.