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(en) Ireland, Workers Solidarity #80 March 2004 - Thinking about Anarchism Immigration

From Worker <a-infos-en@ainfos.ca>
Date Wed, 14 Apr 2004 10:47:13 +0200 (CEST)

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We live in a world in which Capital flows with immeasurable
speed from one extreme of the globe to the other; in which the
soldiers of the US and the UK can invade anywhere in the planet
in the wink of an eye; in which products manufactured in distant
lands, by unknown toilers, flood our markets; in which food from
across the oceans satisfies our appetites; in which hoards of
tourists can safely cross the Atlantic Ocean, the Sahara or the
Indian Sea in a few hours.

But the flip side to this world of freedom of movement for the
wealthy and their commodities is that there are massive
restrictions on the freedom of movement for those seeking to
escape the poverty of the third world. They are left to rot in war
zones or have to risk travelling illegally in precarious ships to
reach the shores of "abundance", escaping their misery at risk of
their own survival. Is this just? Certainly not. Then why does this

There are many reasons for this, but a major one is that the
much-vaunted "globalisation" is not something that benefits
everyone equally. Big business investment in the third world
doesn't mean rivers of profit for the locals, but rather for the
Transnational masters.

The globalisation of Capital and business generates inequalities in
the distribution of wealth. And this causes migration. Immigrants
don't come because they are mean barbarians that want to steal
our jobs. Immigrants come here because their countries (usually
former colonies) have been ravaged by imperialist rule, have been
drained of their wealth by multi-national companies, or have
become ruins after war. In those countries they are facing difficult
times: haunted by the ghosts of starvation, war and poverty and
they live under brutal regimes.

Immigrants are people just like you and me, concerned about their
future and about the future of their children. So many make the
hard decision of leaving behind their home and the ones they love
to go to an unknown county to realise their dream of a better
future. Large parts of the world today are as devastated as Ireland
was at the time of the famine. People fleeing these countries are
like the millions who had to leave Ireland from the 1840s right up
to the 1990s in order to seek a better life elsewhere

It's also good to remember that there has never been an absolutely
isolated human community, and that interaction between different
cultures has always resulted in social progress and cultural
development for everyone. Racist prejudices are born out of
ignorance and nurtured by the rulers who benefit from divisions
amongst working people everywhere.

Rulers, both of the political and business variety, oppose open
borders for people for two main reasons. First, because they intend
to keep the vast majority of the poorest people of the third world in
the third world so they can always count on huge masses of
unemployed who will be desperate enough to work for even the
most pathetic of wages. This exerts a negative pressure on wages
everywhere as bosses will threaten workers of one region that they
will move production to wherever is cheapest at that moment.

Secondly, because they know that some people will always come
to Europe to work, but that by keeping them illegal they can easily
exploit them far more than is permissible under the law. An
immigrant worker will always be wary of complaining of terrible
working conditions. After all, the boss can blackmail them with
the threat of deportation.

Our opposition to the immigration restrictions of Fortress Europe
is based on the recognition that immigration is a phenomenon
produced by Capitalist globalisation that makes life unbearable in
many areas of the world. It is based on our recognition that every
human being has the same right to happiness, to the opportunities
and good things of life no matter what their skin colour or place of
origin. It can't be a fair world in which there are more travel rights
for Capital, bank accounts and commodities than for people.

See also

Refugees & Asylum seekers in Ireland http://struggle.ws/wsm/refugee.html
A collection of articles from Workers Solidarity about racism
against refugees and Asylum seekers in Ireland and the struggle
against it

Deporting our neighbours - Government plays race card to divide and rule
It suits the Irish elite to scapegoat refugees for all the problems
that their mismanagement of society causes. The ruling class
wants to set Irish workers against immigrant workers so as to
prevent the workers from seeing that their interests are the same
regardless of nationality

This page is from the print version of the Irish Anarchist paper
'Workers Solidarity'. We also provide PDF files of all our
publications for you to print out and distribute locally

Print out the PDF file of this issue
Print out the PDF file of the most recent issue
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