On ‘The Stump’ a few days ago, I gave an extended argument as to why calls by the leadership of the Libyan revolution for arms and a ‘no-fly zone’ imposed by anyone with the capacity to do it, was something that should be supported by the left – and why it was categorically different to the unilateral invasion of Iraq and Afghanistan, and also of the Balkans and Kosovo adventures.
To recap briefly: if you share the cause of a people’s revolution, and express solidarity with them, then a request for support from a legitimite leadership, puts the question of how you should relate to your own state (and its military) in a different light.
While the asylum seeker debate continues here, it is worth looking at approaches taken to refugees in other ‘developed’ countries. Italy continues to set the pace when it comes to rich continues blatantly breaching human rights laws and putting refugees lives at risk. They have reached an agreement with Libya – a nation with an abysmal human rights record – to stop boats and to take asylum seekers which Italy intercepts and returns. Human Rights Watch has recently released a 92 page report on Libya’s mistreatment of asylum seekers and migrants.
Italy also recently adopted a law making it a crime to enter Italy without authorisation, punishable by a fine of up to 10 000 Euro. They have also introduced other punitive measures for those refugees and migrants who do manage to be able to stay in the country.
These two articles from the San Francisco Bay View National Black Newspaper provide reports on what life is like for some of the African refugees living in poverty in Italy. Continue reading “Italy does the job on refugees”