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From: The Socialist issue 871, 23 September 2015: Organise to fight cuts

Search site for keywords: Refugees - EU - Europe - Hungary - European - Refugee - Middle East - Serbia - Syria - Iraq - Austria - Afghanistan - Asylum - European Union - Germany - Homes

Demo supporting refugees, London, Sept 2015, photo by Paul Mattsson

Demo supporting refugees, London, Sept 2015, photo by Paul Mattsson   (Click to enlarge)

Refugees brutalised by thug EU governments

Paula Mitchell

The refugee crisis has taken an even more harrowing turn. European states have closed their borders to prevent desperate people from entering their countries.

Germany originally took in large numbers of those fleeing wars and terror in Syria, Afghanistan and Iraq. Now it has brought in border controls.

We have watched the horrific steps of the right-wing Hungarian government. Erecting razor wire. Using tear gas and water cannon, to try to prevent people crossing.


Refugees are channelled to Serbia, and then Croatia. Hungary put up a steel gate and fence posts at a border crossing with Croatia. After the arrival of 25,000 in a week, Croatia had started sending them on.

Demo supporting refugees, London, September 2015, photo Paul Mattsson

Demo supporting refugees, London, September 2015, photo Paul Mattsson   (Click to enlarge)

At least 15,000 were funnelled from Croatia into Hungary and then onwards to Austria over one weekend. Another 2,500 crossed from Croatia into Slovenia.

But when people are desperate, no barrier can prevent flight. Despite this inhuman suffering, the struggle goes on to find safety.

As the gateways to Europe close, thousands stay put on roadsides and in makeshift shelters. Meanwhile, small groups of young people set out on the risky quest to navigate new routes.

The crisis is another threat to the European Union (EU) itself. Free movement was one of the main planks of its foundation. A senior EU official was quoted saying: "If you don't cope with this crisis, then I think the EU will fall apart."

Europe's bosses are quite happy to use free movement to bring down higher wages and boost their profits. But when it comes to helping those most in need, it becomes inconvenient.

Pressure on Cameron forced him to say he would allow in up to 20,000 refugees. But he still insists he will take them from Middle East camps, not from those already on the way.

The massive outpouring of public sympathy puts Europe's big business governments to shame. The right to asylum is a fundamental human right which the Socialist Party defends.

We need to build a mass anti-austerity movement, to fight to take the wealth from the 1%. Then we can provide jobs, homes and services for all.

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