For a Europe of welcome and hospitality
Tomorrow, June 20th, is World Refugee Day and last week, refugees lost a passionate advocate when Jo Cox was murdered by a man who appears to believe he was defending our country.
We cannot know yet what exactly triggered this atrocity and I truly believe that political leaders were sincerely shocked and horrified. But there’s no doubt that the referendum campaign has become poisonous – full of fear and hatred.
So, for World Refugee Day, it’s high time to stand up to the fear and hatred, and turn to our basic humanity and to call for our country to stay in Europe, to be part of a caring and compassionate response to the desperate plight of people fleeing war, economic meltdown, and environmental catastrophes (which will only get worse if we don’t work together).
We say no to:
- Participating in or sponsoring wars that bring about death and destruction, and force thousands of people to flee.
- The closure of borders and to the inhuman treatment of people who are seeking safety in our countries.
- Shameful agreements with Turkey and Libya that allow for deportation of refugees in direct violation of Universal Declaration on Human Rights.
- The senseless differentiation between war refugees and people fleeing economic and environmental catastrophes. Wars, the global economic crisis and environmental disasters have causes that are directly connected and they all rob entire populations of the possibility of survival.
We also need a responsible media that refuses to take part in spreading disinformation and unfounded alarmism about non-existent “invasions” and rising threat of terrorism from refugees. In fact, the numbers are manageable with cooperation between European states.
On World Refugee Day, let’s reject the barbed wire, fences, detention camps, and the fear of the “other”, the “different”. Let’s build a Europe of welcome and hospitality.