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Live from Lampedusa: The freedom of movement


For several years now, the European Union has converted the Mediterranean Sea into a mass grave. Untold thousands of refugees, migrants, and their children have been consigned to gruesome, unnatural, premature deaths by shipwreck and drowning, often following protracted ordeals of hunger, thirst, exposure, and abandonment on the high seas.

These lives have been mercilessly sacrificed — usually with callous disregard, occasionally with sanctimonious hypocrisy — in the interests of instituting a “new” Europe encircled by militarized and securitized borders.


For many of these asylum-seekers, braving the horrors of the European border regime came only after fleeing from all manner of atrocities, persecution, and misery in their countries of origin and, commonly, also in numerous other countries of “transit”, crossed en route to Europe.

For others - those who migrate in the quest to make a better life for themselves and their loved ones - the vicious severities of the extended and expansive European borderzone present a fierce endurance test, but their needs, desires, and aspirations always supercede this death-defying obstacle course.


Most commonly, these refugees and migrants originate in places that were formerly the colonies of European masters - mass-scale de facto prison labour camps where their forebears produced the greater part of the material basis for the prosperity, power, and prestige of “Europe.” In other words, virtually all migrations and refugee flows that today seek their futures in Europe have been deeply shaped by an indisputably European (global, colonial) history.

With the imposition and enforcement of a “European” border today, a brave new “Europe” has been busily re-drawing the proverbial color line between a European space largely reserved “for ‘Europeans’ only” and the postcolonial harvest of centuries of European exploitation and subjugation. A new Europe, fortified by very old and morbid cruelties.

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