G8 and Migration: Action Day on June 4th 2007
by 04.04.2007 14:10-
Call for 4th June 2007:
Movements of refugees and migrants are increasing worldwide. Whether in San Diego or Ceuta, the borders are being undermined. In Los Angeles and Brussels demands are being made for legalisation, in Hamburg or Bamako the struggle against deportations continues. Rebellions are spreading in detentions from London to Woomera, and people are defending themselves against precarious working conditions from El Ejido to Seoul… no matter where in the world, no one can ignore the global dimension and growing significance of migrants and refugee struggles. These struggles are as much a reaction to the massive plundering and continuing devastation in the global south as they are a demand for social equality
that is sanctioned around the world.
The global exploitation gap is inherent in 21st century capitalism. Increasing pressure to compete is escalating the battlefield for wages and working conditions, especially for those who cannot find any work at all. This leads subsequently to increased outsourcing of labour to what are known as the cheap-labour nations, or free export zones, that are not coincidently located along border regions (such as maquiladoras). Conversely, people are making there way to (better paid) work by crossing borders in greater numbers. This pattern is occurring not only in the South, but also in the wealthy industrial nations. Many can only make it as temporary seasonal workers or as workers without papers. Consequently, racial privileges versus racist exclusionary policies ensure that the impoverished zones remain separate from the wealthy regions, or at best, can only be traversed under very specific conditions, whether it is the US-american border or the border between Europe and North Africa, or in the megacities such as Bombay or Lagos, where wealth and poverty coexist side-by-side.
It is precisely the G8 governments, together with transnational corporations and international organisations like the WTO, IWF and World Bank, that are responsible for not only maintaining this global apartheid regime, but also for solidifying and intensifying it.
The G8 are likewise responsible for exploitation structures, especially those which lead to the gruesome reality in the global South. "We are here because you are destroying our countries " is the slogan coined by refugee organisations which is directed toward the whole array of the G8’s neocolonial strategies: Against debt policies which impose price increases and privatisation measures under so-called structural readjustment programmes; against the devastation of local economies leading to increasing impoverishment of these countries; against the plundering of their resources; and last but not least, against the direct or indirect support of dictators and warlords.
Pre-emptive migration patrols beyond the actual EU borders However, it’s not just the G8 and its affiliates that are solely responsible for the destruction in the global south. The militarized borders between Mexico and the USA or between Africa and Europe are leading to thousands of precalculated deaths. Supposed developmental aid and financial support of indebted and thereby corruptible governments are implicated in this dilemma, as they are forced to accept these repatriation agreements and migration patrols, already taking place in the transit regions, as well as even in the countries from which migrants originate. Moving the virtual borders of the EU outward into typical countries of migration is becoming an increasingly integral part of a globalized migration regime.
Racism and Selection in the North
The deadly borders are already functioning as selection filters, where only the “fittest” can pass. Every year, tens of thousands of people are deported from Europe, while countless migrants and refugees are forced to make their way as illegalized and undocumented persons, or are subject without rights to the racist administration in the deportation centres, an administrative codex which primarily focuses on intimidation. It is no coincidence that the power-brokers call it "migration management", when they combine these forms of exclusion with the recruitment of cheap labourers, whose exploitation occurs in precarious conditions. Residency permits are bound to the workplace whilst illegalisation and deportation serve as blackmail. All over the world, a process of selection and hierarchicalization is unfolding, where different migrant groups are denied social and political privileges to varying degrees according to the demands of the Northern labour market.
After all, sweatshops, construction sites, farms, and homes, all rely on cheap, flexible and especially, on obedient migrant workers. And as it is in the interest of the capitalists to expand low wage jobs, migrants and seasonal workers are used to insert a competitive (w)edge between migrants and the local residents. Not only first-generation migrants are denied their rights, but also, their children and grandchildren. Whether Germany, France, or USA, the second and even third generation are affected by systematic discrimination: on the job, in real estate, in the education system, or pertaining to their right to vote. And all are at risk as potential victims of racial violence, either perpetrated by fascists or by the police. On one hand, such intimidation and disenfranchisement are an expression of xenophobia and racism, but on the other hand, exist as a component in a greater exploitation scheme within a complex hierarchical structure.
By directly or indirectly placing their demands for global freedom of movement and social equality at the foreground of the political landscape, the struggles of migrants and refugees smash the confines and combat the existing social order of a growing global apartheid. In this manner, these are opening up dialog based on a transnational perspective, which should put just as much emphasis on the patterns of exploitation and oppression existing in the south as it does on these conditions in the north. We do not deny the very real differences in the circumstances and struggles throughout various regions, countries and continents. Nor do we deny the stratification of interests that lie within various groups, such as between temporary and permanent migrants, or between employees who have state citizenship but work under precarious working conditions as compared to the interests of undocumented “foreigners”, for example. However, we are aware of the necessity to bridge these gaps, and to communicate – by overcoming these barriers, whether they exists as actual difference in circumstance or in our heads.
We seek connection to other social movements, progressive groups in trade unions and other institutions, who wish to join us in this struggle against social and political inequality and marginalisation. For this reason, we will participate in the actions against the G8 summit.
We aim for a strategy based on commonality, as we are struggling against the same apartheid- and migration-regime and for global social justice.
Global Freedom of Movement ...
... was the key slogan for the large migration demonstrations during the anti-G8 mobilisation in Genoa 2001. The slogan has remain unchanged in the last three years, most recently on 7 October 2006. Global freedom of movement was top on the agenda at the social forums and conferences in Bamako, Athens and Rabat in 2006 as well as this year in Nairobi. Global freedom of movement is a "fundamental right and a precursor to other fundamental human rights " (Rabat declaration). The right to movement is a decisive cog in the machine of exploitation, an oppressive structure that itself has no borders, while constructing even more borders everywhere else, inside and out. Once again, we are continuing this trend by calling for a transnational day of action on 4 June 2007 in the context of the coming anti-G8 mobilization, under the banner of "for global freedom of movement and equal rights for all".
Week of Action against the G8
An entire week of actions is scheduled from 2 to the 8 of June in and around Rostock and Heiligendamm, Germany, to protest the G8 summit to be held there – with demonstrations and rallies, blockades and direct actions, with camps and conferences, to be held by various social movements. Of course, we, as migration-oriented groups and other interested networks, intend to take part in the larger mobilization and in the huge demonstration at 2nd of June we want to join with an own block. For 3rd of June we will prepare a transnational networking meeting. And on 4 June, one day before the blockades against the G8 summit will begin, we wish to focus special attention on our demands by planning our own day of action, followed by a demonstration.
We invite all networks and organisations around the world, in particular the migration-oriented ones, to join us in participating in the day of action as well as in the mobilization at large, as well as, if possible, to send delegates. We are aware, however, that many who would like to come will not be able to, whether it is due to financial or political obstacles, or due to difficulty in obtaining a visa. In this vein, we express our utmost solidarity and support to those who wish to organize decentralized protests locally, wherever they live, against the G8 summit in June.
Let us show the world elite, who will be meeting for their summit in Heiligendamm, our definitive resistance against their politics of exclusion and exploitation. Let’s take the occasion during these days of action to articulate the truly transnational character of the movements and struggles carried out by refugees and migrants.
NoLager Mecklenburg-Vorpommern; Antirassistische Initiative Rostock; Fluechtlingsinitiative Brandenburg (FIB); African Conference Forum (ACF); Fluechtlingsrat Hamburg; AntiLager-Gruppe Hamburg; NoLager Bremen; Jugendliche ohne Grenzen (JOG) Brandenburg; Antirassistische Initiative (ARI) Berlin; Antirassismusplenum Goettingen; Papiere fuer Alle - Goettingen; Initiative gegen Rassismus und Ausgrenzung - Dortmund; kein mensch ist illegal - Hanau; Attac AG Globalisierung und Migration; Fluechtlingsrat Bayern; Antirassistische Aktion Augsburg; Buerengruppe Paderborn; Initiative gegen das Chipkartensystem - Berlin; Rasthaus Freiburg; LabourNet Germany; Aktionsbuendnis Sozialproteste; kein mensch ist illegal Hamburg; Aktionsbuendnis gegen Abschiebungen - Rhein/Main; Initiative gegen Abschiebung Frankfurt; ZAG - Berlin; Buendnis gegen Abschiebungen Mannheim; Sozialistische Jugend - Die Falken LV Berlin; FELS - Berlin; Interventionistische Linke; Karawanegruppe Muenchen; AGIS-Darmstadt; kein mensch ist illegal Koeln; Initiative gegen Abschiebehaft Berlin; Buero fuer medizinische Fluechtlingshilfe Berlin; Birat e.V. Bremen.
G8 und Migration (German version): http://www.all4all.org/2007/04/3067.shtml
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