ESR 6 Blog February 2022: Bilge Hasdemir

Who is welcome?

On February 24th we woke up to another terrible situation. The Russian military attack on Ukraine. It felt like a catastrophe for the people and the country of Ukraine, and also for the Russian civilians who stand against the dictatorship. War is a tool of oppression and violence not only for those living in the attacked country, but also for those living in the aggressor state. This is a war, and a military move brings nothing but suffering, death, and the awful destruction of settlements, cultures and ecology. The history of humanity is full of examples of how war of all kinds caused serious human rights violations, especially the right to life, great traumas, and economic and social destruction. War isn’t just about the maps and explosion footage shown on screens. It is about death, migration, hunger, torture, and oppression. That’s also what happened in Iraq. What were left behind after the USA invasion of Iraq in 2003 were human rights violations, civilian massacres, torture and war crimes. This is not to forget the peoples of Afghanistan, Burkina Faso, Lebanon, Libya, Mali, Niger, Nigeria, Palestine, Somalia, Sudan, and Syria who have also suffered from war, violence and human rights abuses in areas of armed conflict.

EU nations have opened their borders for Ukrainian refugees – as it must be. But having seen explicit differences in treatment given to migrants and refugees from the Middle East and Africa, there is no way to bypass the racist and sectarian approach intrinsic to European asylum and migration reception policies and the practices of human rights protection. The reality is founded on discriminatory laws and ethnic and racial exclusivity. The mistreatment and discrimination against black and brown refugees extend beyond violent push backs on EU borders and pervades the daily experience of those refugees who are not entirely welcome in the ´hosting´ county and constantly face the same the systematic police brutality and racism.

What we witness today, and every day, is proof of the serious humanitarian crisis the whole world is in. The current imperialist war is not a threat only to the region where the bombs explode, but to all peoples of the world. Thus, I believe, solidarity must be widened and deepened in alignment with all struggles for land, liberation, and life.
NO to all sorts of systems of oppression and violence.

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