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(en) Poland, rozbrat: New European boundaries in times of crisis - Katarzyna Czarnota, Jaroslaw Urbanski [machine translation]

Date Fri, 1 Sep 2017 17:21:12 +0300


Migrating people and the problem of managing it by setting and militarizing borders is one of the most important contemporary social and political problems. Establishing state borders is an effective tool for preserving hierarchies and social divisions on the geopolitical map of the world. In the era of the so-called. The refugee crisis has taken on a particular importance, and the way in which European society interprets and defines the notion of a frontier will emerge in future for the fate of the next generations of migrants and of each of us. ---- In the middle of the so-called. Refugee crisis, in April 2016, we surveyed the opinions of the inhabitants of selected Oder locations[2]. On the other side of the border, in Germany, refugee camps were set up. After the outbreak of the so-called. Local media reported that "more and more centers are being established at the Polish border", and refugees illegally cross the border, freely entering the Polish side. According to press reports, the German government placed over 5,500 refugees along the entire Polish-German border, including about 1,200 in Frankfurt / Oder alone, where 3,000 people were to be sent. In the press appeared first notes on the threat of immigrants.

Most of these reports turned out to be untrue or exaggerated, but 53.7% of the people surveyed by our border towns still considered the camps on the other side of the Oder to be a real threat. Almost 40% felt at risk of migrant crisis in Europe at all. As a consequence, the question of whether the authorities should introduce border controls was 43.9% responded "definitely yes" and another 19.0% said "yes". Although the "closing of borders" would hit the economic foundations of cross-border cities where international small trade thrives, and many are hired on the German side, especially in Berlin. In most speeches, people easily identified refugees with terrorists, unfortunately based on the message present in the Polish public media. At the same time postulating the closure of all immigrants in the centers, without the possibility of contact with the environment. Conversations sometimes referred to the atmosphere of the 1930s, which today's generations are known only from descriptions and archival materials. Nevertheless, fear, crisis and ignorance play again in dangerous terrain.
Thus, the effects of geopolitical play: the war and the destabilization of the Near and Middle East (also through Poland's participation in the Iraq war), acts of terror, the escape of millions of refugees and migrants, affect the social perception of migration and the steps to be taken to guarantee safety. In response, European politicians are closing their borders and building more and more bars. More importantly, the unwillingness of the public to mobilize against immigrants and refugees. Right-wing parties succeed in maintaining or occupying power by siding with xenophobic and Islamophobic slogans. It can be risked to say that in fear of terrorists and refugees in many countries introduced the law of the state of emergency. We have this to do with the simultaneous decline of social awareness about what actually happens "behind walls". Not only the number of people fleeing armed conflict can be compared to the situation of the Second World War, but also the degree of unconsciousness and the permissiveness of what is happening on the other side of the border. It reminds the stories of people about the ghetto uprising: "I did not immediately realize that the Germans set fire to our house. Only the biting smoke forced us to leave the hiding place. Standing on the roof of a burning tenement, I looked again at Warsaw on the other side of the wall. People on the other side were watching the ghetto fire. How did the Romans of Nero's time see the living torches created from the burning of living Christians? " As Mark Edelman recalled, "What was on the other side of the wall? People are walking, playing, playing music, the carousel is, people are walking to the lunapark, etc. For us it was incomprehensible and we felt we were in a forgotten state. "[3]Unfortunately this experience did not prevent Edelman from supporting the war in Iraq[4]. Meanwhile, a number of military interventions in Muslim countries have pushed people into the mass exodus. Remembrance of the Second World War, so far alive in Polish and European consciousness, has not managed to prevent detachment from others and pretending that on the other side of the border the problem does not concern us.

Wars of the West produce terror

But illusions give only illusory sense of security against the often created by the authorities threat. The terrorist attacks in Europe are in fact the consequence of decades of war in the Near and Middle East, which have no effect on the Old Continent and the Near East. For an arbitrary period of time, the number of war victims and terrorist attacks in the Near and Far East is incomparably greater than the victims of terrorism in Europe and the USA. This does not mean justification for "blind" violence - just as there are no excuses for American or Russian bombings. Until the war ceases, we must face the attacks of fundamentalists and desperate seekers of revenge.
US forces and their allies from NATO in the years 2015-2016 have made aviation attacks in Muslim countries in the Near and Middle East, where at least 63,185 bombs were dropped. In 78% this was the work of the US Army. In recent years, the intensity of attacks has increased markedly, and it is important to combine the significant increase in the number of refugees from the raids. We will find information on bombings in the Western European media like the British Guardian.[5]The bombs are mostly in Syria and Iraq. Exact number of victims is not known. It is said that as a result of the raids of tens of thousands of Islamists fighting on the ISIS side, rarely mentioned civilians. Officially, Western governments (especially the United States) try to maintain the belief that there is a minimum number of casualties among non-combatants. In turn, non-governmental organizations report hundreds or even thousands of killed civilians as a result of NATO bombing. According to one of the portals only between August 2014 and August 2015, Airwars activists, an organization of independent journalists following the US-led campaign and their allies to Iraq and Syria, documented more than 50 bombings in which "at least" 489 civilians including about 100 children. "[6]Rzeczpospolita wrote at the end of October 2016 that as a result of the 13-month Russian bombings, 10102 people were killed in Syria, including 4162 civilians (including 1,013 children and 584 women).[7]
Of course the causes of the increase in armed conflict and the accompanying increase in the number of refugees are manifold. Desperate people are storming the boundaries not only because of the bombing of American, British, Turkish or Russian aircraft, but also due to disorganization, economic collapse and starvation. International public opinion seems to forget, too,
Refugees are fleeing from acts of Islamic terror, whose victims in the East fall far more in the West than in the West. The ongoing war in Syria also has negative economic consequences for neighboring countries and the entire region. For example, the World Bank estimates that the Syrian crisis has caused Lebanon's GDP to fall by 2.85% in 2014. The rise in unemployment and the budget deficit have "cost" this country a total of $ 7.5 billion in 2012-2014.[9]


Time of Walls and Financial Flows

The policy of separation through the construction of walls and gravestones has always been linked to the global tensions and social inequalities triggered by policies developed on the basis of certain economic interests. Even historical examples of the "fall of the walls", intended to become a prelude to new global liberal orders, were usually intertwined with the emergence of new administrative barriers, differing only in form. The content remained the same. When the 156 km long Berlin Wall, together with a system of fortifications, trenches, dams and mines, was symbolically collapsed, followed by further walls of political and economic inequalities - separating the land of Israel and Palestine by a concrete wall of about 700 km. The height of about 8 meters with control towers and electrical protection system, which has so far consumed about 2.6 billion dollars[10]; A steel wall separating the United States, Mexico, Spain and Africa, Kashmir and India, etc. Nowadays, in response to the so- Old Continent's refugee crisis is increasingly drowned in its grip. Construction of a Hungarian fence[11], high for about 4 meters, with harbors and security systems that separates Hungary, Serbia and Croatia. He has so far cost one billion euros. Currently under construction is his second part. Kilometers per year between Bulgaria and Turkey have absorbed about 4.5 million euros and another 3 million euros have been spent on a metal fence with Greek-Turkish fences. Member States, which are members of the European Union from spring 2015 to April 2016, have issued a total of around 500 million euros per 1200 km of barbed wire fences and walls alone (cost of guarding turrets and patrolling of border areas)[12]. Still, people are constantly running away, trying to cross the border sometimes several times. This is evidenced, among others. The story of Abed, a 16-year-old Afghani: "It's winter, sometimes minus 20 degrees, we're waiting here in Subotica, in one of the abandoned factories near the Hungarian border. There is no water, electricity, roofs, men no longer take to the camps. (...) I have already tried 20 times across the border ... yesterday the border guards caught me again, crashed the phone, took off their clothes and poured water. I came back and I will try again "[13]. In the winter of 2017, people across the border crossed the hinterlands, trying to make further attempts to cross the border.
In the context of the debate on global social inequities, it should be borne in mind that the European Schengen Area has primarily opened the boundaries of free circulation of capital. Although the treaty also banned border controls on people who are nationals of Member States, allowing about 400 million Europeans to travel freely also to non-EU countries, the lack of internal border controls was mainly introduced as a necessary step for the emergence of a single market, And currency and competitiveness.[14]So the lack of borders made the free and equal flow of people realized? Has the treaty initiated wide-ranging cooperation on internal security and asylum policy? Not at all. At present, contrary to international law and the 1951 Geneva Convention on the Status of Refugees, the international right to seek asylum, refugee status or other form of protection for migrants is violated.

European state of emergency

The emergence of the Schengen zone has undoubtedly strengthened the co-operation of states on the level of capital flow, but as regards the flow of people during the crisis (not refugee but economic), its weaknesses are evident. Security policy, scanners looking for cars to detect refugees, funding of the fortifications of the "fortress Europe", introduction of volatile checkpoints in Schengen countries illustrate that for some time we have been dealing with a European unique state.
In this context, we often make division into more or less desirable migrants. Those who are better qualified and, according to neo-liberal narratives, are more economically useful, have greater rights, regardless of whether they are affected, for example, by the consequences of war. On the other hand, those who can be cheap labor and their low socio-economic status justify their many rights are often overlooked in the debate on administrative regulation of equality of movement. The result of this situation is a process that some social scientists and researchers identify with economic racism, independent of nationality or religion.[15]At the core of these assumptions there are many migration management programs at local and national level. This is mainly the case for larger companies and corporations that can bring in workers who are proposing worse (working-class) working conditions.
At the same time, refugees bear huge costs of closing their borders, and human migration has become a business and a source of many fortunes. The costs incurred by migrants in trying to reach Europe in the past 15 years are estimated at € 16 billion (data from 2015).[16]The profits of smugglers and corrupt authorities are enormous. On the other hand, in response to migration, only in the years 2002-2013 the European Space Agency (ESA) has allocated € 225 million to 39 projects for the development of unmanned drones, heat sensors and odor detection systems. It is not uncommon for taxpayers to pay their own money in the "security policy" to smugglers and dictators. One team analyzing immigrant relations came to the conclusion that "the Italian government made an agreement with Libya and paid for Libyan refugees who did not allow refugees to travel to Italy. Since 2011 Italian taxpayers have spent € 17 million on Libyan support for trainings, patrol boats, night vision and other equipment. "[17]These expenses also cover the costs of the removal of millions of people by EU governments.
Poland is forcing the strengthening of the border regime, among others. By working with Frontex, a European deportation agency. Its Intelligent Border Control (TALOS) systems are created to replace patrolling machine guards. This project was described in a report presented to German Spiegel by Spiegel. After one of Frontex's operations at the Greek-Turkish border they were ordered to open fire to immigrants fleeing the minefield, the Germans refused to execute the orders. Frontex commanders did not acknowledge that their actions were against the law in Germany.[18]
In recent years, not only have European countries increased their funding for border control. The ineffectiveness of border militarization is also witnessed by the failure of US policy. Alice Mesnard, an economist at City University in London, pointed to quantitative research on the US, proving the failure of anti-immigration policy. Gathmann points out that "the methods of strengthening the frontiers adopted by the 1986 Immigration Reform and Control Act (ICRA) to seal the border with Mexico have proved to be a growing burden for public finances and have contributed to increased cross-border costs, The influx of people without the right to stay, who are forced to pick the longest and most dangerous road, which makes them more and more dead. "[19]

Limits expensive and leaky

As Spernata Domitru points out in the article, "Is the world without passports a utopia?"[20]In 1920-1930 many international meetings returned to the idea of a complete abolition of borders. Pointing out the many obstacles to the movement of people and the post-war movement of goods. "In 1924, at a conference on immigration and immigration organized under the auspices of the Bureau International du Travail (BIT), a request was made that the passport requirement be abolished as soon as possible ..." Postponing the complete abolition of the passport requirement. It was not until 1963 that the idea of abolishing international passports was considered impossible. This happened at the United Nations Conference on Tourism

And International Travel[21].

However, it should be borne in mind that under international law, any person applying for refugee status or other form of protection may cross the border without a passport or use another person's passport to escape persecution. In this case, we can not talk about "illegal migration" because we would have been able to receive protection in advance in other countries. Despite this, no one is chasing states that (like Poland) are closing the frontiers of refugees, de facto breaking the law. The Polish government has refused to accept the refugees as part of the relocation programs, thereby closing the borders and causing a situation in which people cross the Polish border with smugglers. In addition, as alarms, among others. The Helsinki Foundation for Human Rights systematically, with the exception of the law, is denied the possibility of applying for refugee status for Chechen families trying to cross the border of Poland at the border crossing Terespol / Brest. A large part of the people are refused entry, and for more than a dozen months at the railway station in Brest they have cheetah families who do not want to return to Chechnya because of the threat. The right-wing government of Poland, which identifies every refugee with a terrorist (acting exactly as the Islamic terrorists would like it) contests international law, treating it as a defense strategy.
In conclusion, now more than 65 million people worldwide (more than after World War II) change their whereabouts due to conflicts and violations of human rights. 1/3 of them were forced to cross the border for protection.[22]Walling along the borders of Europe is not a solution. No territory can be sealed. This is not a discussion even about morality, but of economics, because the solutions they simply do not work, and at the same time they absorb huge public funds. So a simple conclusion - people will cross borders, and the current approach based on border militarization will not be effective if the number of conflicts increases (as many researchers and researchers predict), and economic differences between regions of the world will continue.

The text was published in the monthly Le Monde Diplomatique - No. 7 (137) July 2017
The text in the abridged version was published in the catalog for Dominique Lejman's exhibition "Plot", available from 23 June to 27 July 2017 in the Arsenal City Gallery in Poznan.
Photos by Dominik Lejman, "Fence". Foto: Galeria Miejska Arsenal in Poznan

footnotes:
1]The quote comes from 15 pilot interviews conducted by K. Czarnoty on the situation of Syrian refugees on the Turkish labor market. Athens 2016.
[2]Research project implemented by the Western Center for Social and Economic Research in 2016.
[3]Movie Quotes: There was no hope. Warsaw Ghetto Uprising 1943. Museum of the History of Polish Jews Polin. Production Year 2017. The video is available at https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=MI3bEHjhYds (accessed: 24.04.2017).
[4]S. Zgliczynski, "Dogs of War", Internaete edition of Levi Noga, October 2003, http://www.iwkip.org (access: 24.04.2017).
[5]M. Benjamin, "America dropped 26,171 bombs in 2016. What a bloody end is Obama's reign", www.theguardian. Com of dn. 9.01.2017, https://www.theguardian.com (access: 28.04.2017).
[6]"Civilian of warfare", www.altair.com.pl of dn. 5.08.2015, http://www.altair.com.pl (access: 28.04.2017).
[7]"Syria: 10 000 victims of Russian bombings in 13 months", www.rp.pl z dn. 31.10.2016, http://www.rp.pl (access: 28.04.2017).
[8]CNN Libraly, "ISIS Fast Facts", www.cnn.com z. Dn. April 17, 2017, http://edition.cnn.com (accessed: 29.04.2017).
[9]A. Betts, L. Bloom, J. Kaplan, N. Omat, "Refugee Economies. Forced Displacement and Development ", Oxford University Press, Oxford 2017, p. 44.
[10]H. Matar, "The Wall, 10 years on: The Great Israeli Project", www.972mag.com from dn.09.04.2012,
Https://972mag.com (accessed: 29.04.2017).
[11]M. Dunai, "Hungary bilds migrant border fance", www.routers.com dn: 02.03.2017, http://www.reuters.com (access: 29.04.2017).
[12]G. Baczynska, S. Ledwith, "How Europes built fences to keep people out", www.reuters.com dn.04.06.2016., Http://www.reuters.com (access: 26.04.2017 )
[13]Interview by K. Czarnoty during a trip with grass-roots assistance by a group from Poznan and Torun for nomadic refugees to Serbia in the winter of 2017.
[14]K. Deren, "Development of the Shengen Zones", Foreign Affairs Portal of June 6, 2014. http://www.psz.pl/120-unia-eu ropejska / roz war -st ref y-schengen ( Access: 26.04.2017).
[15]On the phenomenon of economic or neo-liberal racism, Ewa Charkiewicz in the paper titled "Mothers for sterilization. Neoliberal racism in Poland "and Monika Bobako in an article titled" Constructing Class Diversity as a Creation. Polish case after 1989 ". Both available on-line on "Think Thanku feministyczny" pages http://www.ekologiasztuka.pl
(Access 26.04.2017).
[16]V. Makarenko, "Immigrants. What does Europe do to not let them in?, www.wyborcza.pl from dn.18.06.2015., Http://wyborcza.pl (access: 26.04.2017).
[17]Ibid.
[18]No Border, "Frontex - competence to the limit", Le Monde Diplomatique - Polish edition, No. 5 / 63.Maj 2011.
[19]A. Mesnard, "Will strengthening borders help to better control migration?" P. 61 in "Migrants, migrations. What you need to know to get your own opinion. " Ed. Helene Thiollet., Ed. Karakter, Cracow 2017.
[20]Ibid.
[21]Ibid.
[22]A. Betts, L. Bloom, J. Kaplan, N. Omat., Refugee Economies. Forced Displacement and Development, ed. Oxford University Press, Oxford 2017, p.

http://www.rozbrat.org/publicystyka/kontrola-spoeczna/4557-nowe-europejskie-granice-w-dobie-kryzysu
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