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Shut down migration control!
(speech at demonstration in front of the gate of the deportation center Ter Apel, Saturday December 21st, 2013)
We are here today to share with you the little things we cán share. These words. Soup. Toys and candy for the children.
We are also here today to tell you, and even more: to tell the authorities, to tell COA, IND and DT&V, to tell the Dutch government, that we find the fact that people are being forced to live here, being intimidated to cooperate to return to where they came from, is an outrage, it is shameful and hateful and it needs to end NOW.
You and me, we are all people. We are all equal. We all should have the right to freedom of movement, to freedom of settlement. Not only those that were so lucky to be born in this country. The right to freedom for all. Period. To not have to fear persecution, to not have to be afraid of violence. We cannot begin to imagine what it must be like to be treated with the disrespect that the Dutch and European government have for refugees, for you who have to stay here, in this center. To be treated like a liar.
Freedom of movement for everyone! That is what we demand here today. And for all immigration prisons and deportation centers to be shut down immediately. Do we have to break them down ourselves? Then, if so, we should. Because your freedom is denied by the Dutch state, in the name of all Dutch people.
But it is not in my name! Not in our name! So we say: Stop deportations! And: No One is illegal!
My freedom, our freedom, it is worth nothing if not all people can be free. The Dutch government rather sends people back to poverty, war, torture and rape, then to share with refugees the riches that we have. Riches like the candy and the toys we brought. They are symbolic for what we really want to be able to share: freedom and wealth.
Yes, I wish that we could share that freedom and that wealth, because sharing and solidarity is essential to humanity. But profit and exploitation stand in the way of freedom. Racism, nationalism and xenophobia are in the way of freedom. The Dutch so-called asylum laws and immigration laws are a system of Apartheid that is dividing people into wanted and unwanted human beings. It separates the privileged Dutch people from immigrants. But we welcome you. It is only fair to say: All refugees welcome!
In the whole of Europe it is policy to try and stop immigration, to make it as difficult as possible. The Dublin agreement makes it impossible to ask asylum in a second European country. This is why they take your fingerprints. This is a crime against humanity and privacy, and we do NOT agree! We oppose this policy! Migration control is a crime, it denies people the right to exist.
Refugees free! Freedom now!
We cannot and will not accept this situation. I think I speak for all of us, if I say that we need to continue to fight this in whatever way we can. Dutch society needs to realize what it's government is doing here. Because even though this gate is not closed, in fact this place is a prison, from which you are not allowed to leave.
We all need to stand up and say: enough is enough. No one is illegal. Shut down all border prisons and all border control! Shut down the Fortress of Europe!
Too many people have died trying to find a better life, have drowned or suffocated. Too many people keep being deported. Every deportation, every forced return, is one too many! The Dutch government does not even hesitate to split up families, it does not hesitate to intimidate women and children. It does not hesitate to send people to their deaths. And this means that we cannot hesitate to fight this. We cannot hesitate to fight the plans to penalize so-called illegality, because there cannot be such a thing as being illegal in the first place. People are not weapons, people are not drugs, people are not objects.
We're all people! We're all equal! No one is illegal!
Today we are here to demonstrate how we feel about the Dutch and European immigration policy. And every demonstration again we see this: we need to strengthen the struggle. We need to keep on fighting. Change will not come easy. There is still a long way to go.
But things are slowly changing. The past few years refugees that are forced to live on the street, and are being hunted down by the police, are standing up all over Europe, are raising their voices, and can no longer be ignored. These voices of many people, in Brussels, in Berlin, in Calais, in Lampedusa, everywhere in Europe, the voices calling for freedom and the right to exist can no longer be silenced!
You are not alone. At the same time, at this moment, as we demonstrate here today, there is a demonstration in Hamburg. Last Wednesday, which was the International Day of The Immigrant refugees demonstrated in The Hague and several other cities in Europe, to demand of the European Union to remove their fingerprints and acknowledge the right to exist. Yesterday, in Belgium, refugees marched from Brussels to Mons. As long as money can travel and people cannot, as long as the Western world profits from poverty and slavery, from raw materials, from the soil, the ocean and from war all across the world, immigrants have every right to come here and to not be denied access to a society that is built on the poverty and the misery of refugees.
We, the Dutch people have a responsibility to not take our privileges for granted, we have to make this stop. Together we can make a change, so some day it will not only be candy and toys that we share, but also freedom and wealth.
Say it loud and say it clear: Refugees are welcome here!
We demand freedom of movement for everyone, because migration is not the problem, it is nationalism, colonialism and capitalism that is the problem! We demand the right to exist for everyone, regardless of who they are or where they came from!
To begin with: Shut down the Ter Apel deportation center!
No borders, no nations, stop deportations!
Joke Kaviaar, December 21, 2013