Welcome to European Tribune. It's gone a bit quiet around here these days, but it's still going.
" A little digression: Due to current events Alon Levy wrote about "Cities and Immigration". At the end of the post he describes Sweden's ultimately wrong decision about the refugee housing problem."

Interesting article, but he does not describe what you say he describes. The article is about immigrants, not refugees. Though there are similarities, there are very large differences too, and what we are talking about is refugees. People who can judge the danger of crossing the Mediterranean in a leaky dinghy perfectly well--and know that the journey is less dangerous than a walk around the block at home in Syria. They will come to us, no matter how many fences. All the fences increase the risk for the refugees, and the profit for the smugglers, but the refugees will come. Can you please suggest how you wish the European reaction to be? And what demands and actions you wish the left to make?

The very high inflow these days needs emergency accomodation. I quite agree that empty barracks in the middle of nowhere and the like are not suitable for a months long stay, but then it has been German practice to place refugees in accomodation in the middle of nowhere. I am not sure that this is the moment to intensify the criticism of this policy. I have always supported campaigns to let refugees use normal flats, and not to use mass accomodation (which was introduced to "deter" refugees anyway). Just now I support using every inhabitable shelter anywhere for the short term.

" The role of the left is not to distribute teddy bears or chant "Refugees welcome!" till Christmas. That just makes the problem objectively and politically worse."

What, worse?! Could you explain why?

The role of the left should not be restricted to distributing teddy bears or chanting, but both are still quite useful activities to extend solidarity to human beings in need, and to create a counter narrative to the "swarms" or "floods" narratives of dehumanisation.  

"More refugees are not the answer."

Then tell me what to do with the refugees who are coming. Fences or the sea don't keep them out. What do you want to do with them, quite practically, I mean? If you want to deport them, how? They will resist, after all they have nothing to lose. Is that really your dream of a left movement demonstrating how a world of solidarity, justice, cooperation can work instead of the neoliberal world of competition, inequality, confrontation that we must live in?

"Otherwise, the NSU terrorists that were born out of the refugee crisis of the nineties will have even nastier successors"

The NSU terrorists had nothing to do with a refugee crisis, and everything with the loss of economic security. Contact with refugees (or other immigrants) reduces racisms, because then they are perceived as persons and not as an anonymous mass. Another argument in favour of campaigns of teddy bear distribution.

by Katrin on Sat Sep 12th, 2015 at 05:05:09 PM EST
[ Parent ]

Others have rated this comment as follows:


Occasional Series