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(en) bxl communistes libertaires: Long live the struggle of the sans-papiers! No to state racism! Regularization now! (ca, de, it, fr, pt)[machine translation]

Date Sun, 25 Jul 2021 08:42:52 +0300

On a hunger strike for 2 months, the 475 undocumented migrants occupying the Beguinage church in Brussels and the premises of the ULB and the VUB have just started a thirst strike. Will the State wait until there are deaths before accepting their request for collective regularization? Faced with indifference and state racism, the struggle at the cost of their lives is radicalized and solidarity intensifies. The Union Communiste Libertaire expresses its support for the struggle of undocumented migrants for regularization, which shakes even the foundations of the (neo) colonial State and of capitalist society, and which constitutes a true example of self-organization and determination for all oppressed · es .

The development of the self-organization of undocumented migrants
For 54 days, 475 undocumented people have been on hunger strike at the Beguinage church in Brussels, at the ULB and at the VUB. They demand their regularization in order to work and live with dignity. This struggle is not born by chance. It is the fruit of a preliminary work of self-organization and collective struggles. For many years, undocumented migrants have organized themselves through different groups (such as La Coordination des sans papiers, La Voix Des Sans Papiers, etc.), developing their political autonomy and practicing direct action in order to to fight for a lasting and reasonable solution to their situation. If these collective actions (demonstrations, petitions, occupations) have not yet enabled them to give in to political decision-makers, these struggles have enabled them to self-organize by building collective solidarity and political consciousness. It is from these experiences of struggle and self-organization, sometimes conflicting, that several dozen, then hundreds, of undocumented migrants decided to join forces in a collective, the Union des sans-papiers pour la regularization (USPR), to come out of hiding. The USPR is an organization whose birth corresponds to the spontaneous occupation by ten Brussels undocumented migrants of the Beguinage church on 01/30/2021. Since then, using the networks built previously, the mobilization has been a success and 475 undocumented migrants occupy the three sites in total. Although it is not always evident, among these hunger strikers there are many women, whose migratory journey is often marked by numerous gender-based violence. Inside the church, they are organized among women, in single sex. The solidarity between them is very strong.

In the absence of any possibility of regularization of their stay and of regularization campaign since 2009, the occupants of the Béguinage, the VUB and the ULB are on hunger strike to demand the regularization of their stays, collective way. They demand clear, objective criteria and the establishment of an independent and permanent commission to analyze requests on the basis of their reality.

Faced with exploitation and state racism: the radicalization of the struggle and solidarity
In response to the occupations and their demands, the rulers have indulged in silence and once again confirmed the interests they serve: those of the rulers and the exploiters. In fact, the vast majority of undocumented migrants have a job in Belgium, particularly in sectors lacking in manpower. They are subject to all forms of exploitation. While they work, they cannot benefit from social protection. Their health care is not reimbursed, they have no safety net in the event of job loss. Without a legal existence, they find themselves at the mercy of abusive bosses and sleep vendors, not to mention the fact that women are excluded from existing mechanisms to protect them from gender-based violence. For nearly 20 years, through a restrictive and secure migration policy,

Exploited, living in hiding, they want to come out of the shadows and lead a normal life. Thus, in response to the silence and invisibilization orchestrated by the political and media powers following the occupations, they decided to intensify the struggle by starting a hunger strike which has now lasted for two months. At the same time, solidarity was quick to organize: demonstrations, symbolic occupations of public buildings, petitions, declarations from collectives or from militant and union organizations. Not to mention, the many volunteers accompanied by caregivers who mobilized to take care of the hunger strikers.

But until last week, despite the radicalization of the struggle, the external mobilization and the deterioration of the health of undocumented migrants, the state persisted in its institutional racism. The Secretary of State for Asylum and Migration, Sammy Madhi (CD&V), inflexible, repeated that there would be neither collective regularization, nor temporary residence permit, a possibility however provided for by law given their condition. health, according to the association CIRÉ, which defends the rights of exiled people. For their part, the various parties as a whole preferred to wall themselves into complicit silence. The argument used is respect for the government formation agreement which does not provide for the possibility of collective regularization. Faced with distress and the will to fight at the cost of their lives for more dignity,

Worse, on July 15, Sammy Mahdi (CD&V) proposed to establish a "neutral zone" where undocumented people could receive information about their administrative situation and the procedures they can undertake. While for months, the hunger strikers have stood in solidarity with one another by fighting collectively for a collective regularization of all, the government tries to divide them by offering them an individual exit. The reaction of the undocumented migrants was quick to be heard: the majority of them, that is to say 300 people, decided to start a thirst strike last Friday, July 16, raising fears of deaths in the following days. Most of them then refused to be hospitalized despite an increasingly worrying state of health. One more time,

We have to admit without showing overconfidence that this ultimate radicalization of the struggle is already bearing fruit. The mainstream press, national but also international, had remained very discreet until then, took up the subject. On the political level, a new milestone has just been crossed: the institutional parties of the "left" of the majority, the PS, Ecolo / Groen were forced to come out of their guilty silence of 2 months and threatened to leave the government. in the event of death thus putting pressure on the Prime Minister and the Secretary of State for Asylum and Migration to find a solution.

Will the state wait until there are deaths before accepting their request for collective regularization?

Long live the struggle of the undocumented migrants and the self-organization of the oppressed!
Although we are worried and concerned about the state of health of the strikers, they once again provide proof that self-organization, collective struggle through direct action and solidarity pay. While they were invisible a few months ago, they managed to impose their demands on the front of the political and media scene and to create a real balance of power with power in order to make it bend.

It is through struggle that we wrest social conquests! These experiences of self-organization constitute the bases of the society of tomorrow which will be based on mutual aid and free association. We don't need leaders to govern us. These serve the interests of the ruling class which takes advantage of racist, hetero-patriarchal, validist, colonial, ecocidal capitalism, which oppress us and against which we fight.

The renouncements of "social democracy", its absence of a social and political project, its collaboration with the neoliberal capitalist system prove to us that the oppressed classes have nothing more to expect from parliamentary action. On the contrary, the oppressed can only count on themselves, on their self-organization in the careful construction of checks and balances to impose a balance of power and transform society.

In the face of state racism, let us build popular power through the struggle and self-organization of the oppressed.

The Union Communiste Libertaire supports the hunger strikers, and calls for stepping up solidarity actions in Brussels and elsewhere in Belgium.

Long live the struggle of the sans-papiers! Abolish the racist laws, and demand the immediate regularization tou · thy undocumented! No one is illegal! No to state racism! Let's destroy the borders!

Union Communiste Libertaire Brussels, July 21, 2021

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