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What shall we do when the borders close?

The shock of a million foreigners has set European racists reeling. It has made bureaucratic machines crack and sputter. The micromanaging states of Europe want this disaster of irregularity, chaos and non-registration to end. Better a drowned refugee than a non-registered one. Better an imprisoned child than a smuggled one. Keep THEM in those white boxes and keep those white boxes in barbed-wire fences and have volunteers – registered, of course – keep refugees in line. Sort them by nationality, gender, age, vulnerability, take their fingerprints and check just HOW MUCH they suffered, because we don’t accept just anyone here, you know. Write their number on their hand, tag their fingernails, count the cups of soup they get, stamp their papers, give them thirty days to get to Level 2 or it’s Game Over. Then their journey begins again, and when they get here next time, the open camp will be a detention center, the food-distributor a prison guard, the registration will be for a flight back home. And where will we, the soup-cookers and clothes-distributors, be then?The incompetence of Greece and Europe has made people believe this can’t happen. But this is an illusory hope. Sure, Greece is incapable of managing registration, let alone keeping a million people detained. But Big Brother Europe has plenty of force to spare. Frontex-officials are coming to the islands like a plague of black locusts, gnawing apart nonconforming support structures, ridding the Balkan route of the insufficient Greek Coast Guard and insubordinate volunteers. In due time, tent camps will have disappeared and there’ll be a clean, white wall

“We cannot cope with the numbers any longer”, the Dutch prime minister says. Just imagine what he’ll be saying in June, when the Aegean sea will be warm and still.

We have to prepare for this. Europe is freaking out already, and it has given itself two months to save itself from the refugees. Only its boundless incompetence and disunity have allowed migrants to travel for this long. But with a near-fascist government in Poland, a straight-out racist ruling Hungary (with an even worse opposition), and the whole of Central Europe just waiting for an excuse to shut their borders, we can’t rely on hope or prayer anymore.

Source: What shall we do when the borders close?

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When Volunteers & Government Collide

#Lesvos: Frontex, Turkish and Geek Police, is this the New Day?

The increased presence of the police and Frontex over the past week comes following a tip off that large numbers of armed Turkish police were to be deployed to Camp Moria, Lesvos last Friday in a coordinated Greek / Turkish response to the refugee crisis, coordinated at an EU level.  Reports of aggressive and violent police behaviour have been reported by volunteers.

Over the past week there have been reports of volunteers being arrested on Lesvos. YesterdayEkathimerini.com rather dramatically reported that seven foreign nationals working for NGOs were arrested on Monday for “stealing” life jackets from the local dump. The report went on to suggest that local authorities didn’t believe the volunteers requirements for the life jackets – which was to use them as ground insulation in tents – was the actual intended use. The entire incident is a bit bizarre and smacks of a slow news day.

However volunteers caught up in the incident, all of whom were released without charge were most frustrated by the fact that an entire day was wasted as they were subjected to 11 hours of form filling in the local police station. The volunteers involved have been quick to point out that they were unaware of the fact that the dump was in fact government property and there was no signage to alert them of the fact.

These incidents open up the debate about the rights of volunteers, particularly when acting in an emergency response situation , Independent Witness wrote

Source: When Volunteers & Government Collide