Jan 9, 2017
The following article was translated from the January 4 issue of Lutte Ouvrière, the newspaper of the French revolutionary workers group of that name.
On January 1, a thousand migrants stormed the fence at Ceuta, in Spain, which is the land border between Africa and Europe.
To stop the refugees from reaching Europe, a double barrier 20 feet tall, reinforced by barbed wire and surveillance has been erected. Only two migrants made it into Spain, the others were driven back to Morocco. This assault was particularly violent; the migrants were armed with iron bars, shears, and rocks to confront the forces of order.
The number of migrants who flee war and poverty has only grown these last years. There were 320,000 Syrian refugees in 2012, and five million in 2015. In total, the UN’s High Commission for Refugees counts 21 million refugees and 65 million uprooted people in the world.
The poorest countries have taken in the biggest numbers of these refugees. Refugees make up a quarter of the population of Lebanon. Kenya has many refugee camps, and the biggest, Dadaab, has 640,000 refugees. Turkey has taken in 2.5 million refugees and Pakistan 1.6 million. These men, these women, these families, are crammed in for years, without a future, most with no possibility of working, without a chance to really take care of or educate their children.
Europe has only taken in 6% of the total of refugees. The richest countries that have the greatest means to welcome people close their borders, raise higher and higher walls ... and condemn millions of people to keep on risking their lives.