Monday, 20 April 2015

Migrants racing towards Italy and Europe

Refugees and internally displaced peoples pour out of Iraq, Libya and Syria now Yemen and long time refugees in these countries find themselves being shuffled around to escape ISIS and continual war. Migrants from across Africa and Middle East are racing (non metaphorically) to Italy and other parts of Europe particularly Greece and France in hopes of finding safety from the geopolitical chaos. Human migration has been going on for centuries. It is well documented. Push and pull factors have made many societies and peoples migrate to new lands not necessarily to conquer the new tierra but to search for new opportunities. The human created chaos, sanctions and brutal wars in Yemen, Iraq, Syria, Libya, Somalia, Sudan and the Levant will create more frustrated people.  In turn the frustrated will migrate as anyone would do under crushing circumstances. The North American/European policy of fighting terrorism in certain Levant/African countries by proxy rebel groups, militias or puppet allies and arming both sides does have lasting consequences. By international law and the laws of the sea, everyone has the right to free movement and go where they please or need to go. Now that Western countries are only starting to see a clear picture that they do not like since it puts countries such as Italy and Greece in the hot seat. Right wing ministers and political parties, feeding off citizens' anger over austerity measures have declared all migrants and asylum seekers as existential threats to Europe and Western Civilization. The European Union has looked at the 200,000+ migrants who managed to cross the Mediterranean as a local problem tied to Libya or Italy instead of regional problem in need of concrete actions and policies. The only resounding outcry for thousands of migrants' deaths over the past two years has come from the pope while politicians have given a cold shoulder to thousands of lost souls.

RT News Lampedusa boat disaster: 700 migrants feared dead

Agricultural and technological products from around the world are allowed to crisscross borders and maritime routes. Raw materials are hauled out of Africa and Asia for the benefits of the Western countries and the BRICS at the expense of ordinary African and Asian peoples especially in South Asia ie Cambodia. However, when people from the same continents with a wealth of resources attempt to cross the same routes as the goods, the people are stopped by a barrage of legal barriers concerning national sovereignty. If its not legality than its strict immigration policies, the receiving country's indifference to suffering, invisible walls, populist right wing politicians and groups, xenophobia, cries about ghettozation or migrants being a burden on society. The lives of migrants don't seem matter for politicians and media pundits both conservative and liberal who view migration not as a legal basis but as a security issue on the heels of terrorism. Its not just young men who are risking their lives on overcrowded dinghies and extortion from human traffickers, families and unaccompanied children from babies to teenagers are also fleeing to Italy from North Africa. Some 1,000 migrants have drowned attempting to cross from war torn Libya to Italy. Some migrants have gone by land from Somalia to Libya. Other overland trips are France to UK via Turkey to Greece and further overland on foot through the Balkans. Even Spain has been receiving few migrants from Morocco to Canary Islands. Fighting dangerous journeys, many people continue to go by boat not only in the Mediterranean but from Yemen to Djibouti, from Somalia to Yemen until recently and from Turkey. Granted, some migrants are aware of the current economic conditions in Europe from news and stories from former migrants who returned home voluntary or were deported. Throughout the journey there is always the trepidation and anxiety with what awaits across the sea.

Invisible Cities by Italo Calvino on the cities of the world as told to Kublai Khan by Marco Polo

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