August 17, 2023
From Socialist Worker (UK)
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Anti-racists on vigil for refugees who died in the channel holding refugee welcome placards

On a protest for the refugees who drowned in the English Channel in London last week (Picture: Guy Smallman)

There are more victims of “Fortress Europe”, vicious politicians and the war against migrants.

At least 63 people are feared dead after rescuers found a boat carrying migrants on Thursday off Cape Verde in West Africa.

Almost all those on board the boat, which was at sea for over a month, were from Senegal. They were headed for the Canary Islands, a Spanish possession and therefore a route to the European Union.

A Spanish fishing trawler alerted the authorities about the drifting boat on Monday. It left the Senegalese fishing village of Fasse Boye on 10 July with 101 people on board, according to survivors.

Moda Samb, an elected official in the village, spoke to the AFP news agency. Samb said nearly all those on board had grown up in the community and that some families were still waiting to hear whether their relatives were among the survivors.

The Spanish campaigning group Walking Borders says families in Fasse Boye contacted it on 20 July after ten days without hearing from loved ones on the boat. The group told the authorities, but nothing happened to save people.

The delay probably added to the death toll. “The policy of making migrants die is at the centre of border management,” says Walking Borders.

“Despite the fact that it is the one with the highest mortality, the route to the Canary Islands is increasingly busy. People risk its danger due to the militarisation of the routes through the Mediterranean.

Between 2020 and 2023 at least 67,000 people arrived in the Canary Islands. Over that same period, just over 2,500 officially lost their lives. The true figure will be much higher.

European Union governments, just like the Tories, are stepping up their attacks on migrants.

Facing an election, Poland’s prime minister Mateusz Morawiecki wants to hold a referendum with the question, “Do you support the admission of thousands of illegal immigrants from the Middle East and Africa under the forced relocation mechanism imposed by the European bureaucracy?”

Morawiecki announced his plan for a vote on 15 October—alongside the country’s parliamentary elections—in a new video. It included scenes of burning cars and other street violence in Western Europe.

The video shows a black man licking a huge knife in apparent anticipation of committing a crime.

Morawiecki’s party leader Jaroslaw Kaczynski then says, “Do you want this to happen in Poland as well? Do you want to cease being masters of your own country?”

But people will keep trying to come to Europe to escape poverty, environmental collapse and state repression. The imperialist-fuelled warmongering in Niger will be another reason for people to seek safety and a better life.

International Organisation for Migration spokesperson Safa Msehli said safe pathways for migration were “sorely lacking” and that it was their absence that gave “room to smugglers and traffickers”.




Source: Socialistworker.co.uk