International Socialist Tendency statement on the racist drive in Europe

 In Europe, Uncategorized

1. The European Council meeting on 28 June marked a potentially very
dangerous turning point in the racist drive against migrants in
Europe. After Donald Trump’s election in November 2016 the European
Union presented itself as a bastion of liberalism and tolerance
standing out against the new American president’s racism ands
sexism. But this latest summit saw the EU embrace Trump’s
anti-migrant agenda.

2. Trump caused outrage when he detained the children of undocumented
migrants separately from their parents. But the EU has decided to
create detention camps – so-called “disembarkation platforms”
– for whole families along its borders. Libya – a country
dominated by warring predatory militias that already traffic, kidnap,
torture and rape migrants – has been picked out for a special role
in this. The summit gave the Libyan coastguard an exclusive role in
“rescuing” refugee boats in the Mediterranean.

3. These decisions are a consequence of the axis that has developed
between Trump and the far right governments that are spreading across
Europe – represented by Viktor Orbán in Hungary, Sebastian Kurz in
collaboration with the Nazi Freedom Party in Austria and Matteo
Salvini in Italy. Supposedly more moderate politicians of the
neoliberal centre such as Angela Merkel in Germany and Emmanuel Macron
in France are trying to contain these forces by making concessions to
them. This is creating a death loop that is radicalising anti-migrant
policies and actually strengthening the far right.

4. The rise of racist populist parties is giving strength and
confidence to the real fascist forces. The success of the Lega’s
campaign in the recent Italian elections has multiplied racist
attacks. Trump and the American alt-right are also helping the
fascists. We see this in the rapid emergence of a far right
street-fighting movement in Britain around the Football Lads Alliance
and Tommy Robinson, which has been embraced by UKIP.

5. The EU’s anti-migrant drive requires a higher level of
imperialist intervention in Africa. Italy has made great efforts to
reshape Libya since Gaddafi’s fall. France has been stepping up its
long-standing apparatus of military intervention in the Sahel region.
Germany is pushing African governments to stop the flow of migrants at
source. And the United States Africa Command is increasing its
military footprint in sub-Saharan Africa, as was shown by the combat
deaths of four US Special Forces soldiers in Niger last October, and
the plans for an American military base in Ghana.

6. At its recent meeting, the International Socialist Tendency
reaffirmed its unremitting and absolute opposition to these policies:
· We stand for open borders and oppose all immigration controls:
migrants aren’t the problem but the bosses and bankers and their
· At the same time, we seek to build the broadest possible
anti-racist movement, uniting all those opposed to Trump and the far
right and defending migrants and refugees;
· Building on the traditions of the Anti-Nazi League in the 1970s,
renewed in recent years by Keerfa in Greece, Aufstehen gegen Rassismus
in Germany, Stand Up to Racism and Unite against Fascism in Britain,
Unitat contra el feixisme i el racisme in Catalunya, Platform fur eine
menschliche Asylpolitik in Austria, Marche des Solidarités in France
and United against Racism in Ireland, we aim to deny fascists the
ability to agitate and organise by mounting mass mobilisations that
drive them off the streets;
· We oppose all military intervention by Western imperialist powers
in Africa and the Middle East and demand the dismantling of their
military bases in these regions;
· We take every opportunity to build international solidarity among
the exploited and oppressed of the world. Only socialist revolution
can put an end to the suffering and conflict caused by capitalism.

13 JULY 2018

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