The Spark

“The emancipation of the working class will only be achieved by the working class itself.” — Karl Marx

The dead victims of the smugglers and of the capitalist system

Jun 25, 2001

The following is a translation of an article written by the comrades of UATCI (Union of African Communist Internationalist Workers), an African Trotskyist group active in the Ivory Coast.

One hundred forty people recently died of thirst in the desert in southern Libya. According to Nigerian authorities, the victims were people taking their chances in order to search for work elsewhere.

Leaving Niamey in Nigeria, about 165 people of different West African nationalities took the truck of a ferryman to go secretly to Libya or even on to emigrate to Europe. Along the way, the truck broke down. Without aid, 140 were soon dead; only 25 survived.

Unhappily this is not an isolated case. Recently, 86 Somalians suffered a similar fate. Leaving Somalia secretly to go to Saudi Arabia or Yemen, the boat they were on broke down in open seas. The crew made them jump into the ocean where they drowned. Those who refused were thrown overboard.

Look at what the capitalist system has in store for us! Dominating the world, it has turned the countries of the Third World into a vast workshop for exploiting and exporting raw materials. In order to have their grip on the riches of these countries, the big powers have set up regimes entirely in their pay. The big powers, like the local rulers, completely scorn the needs of the populations. The economy of the African countries doesn't respond at all to the poor classes. The more ruinous the domination, the more the misery deepens.

In such a situation, part of the population searches increasingly to leave their countries in order to find work where there is some. There is, in fact, a permanent migration of the population of the poor countries toward those which are less poor, toward Europe or North America.

In order to flee the misery, the workers fall into the hands of smugglers, risking their lives. Those responsible for this situation pretend to be scandalized or even saddened when accidents leading to death happen like these most recent ones. But this doesn't lessen their responsibility.