On the side of terror or on the side of migrants

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Europe has to face a choice. This choice is not so much between war and peace, but between standing with terror or standing with migrants and those seeking freedom and a better life. It is not time to desert. It is time to choose which side we are on: to do that, the daily struggle against institutional racism and solidarity is not enough. To do that, we need to make the next 1st of March a day in which we, migrants, refugees, and precarious workers will show to Europe which side to be on. It will be the day when we, all together, will say no to terror, racism and exploitation. Several movements and European trade unions already said that the next 1st of March will be the day of migrants and of the strike of migrant labor, and a great day of action across Europe. That day we will return to demonstrate and strike massively, in Italy and in Europe, against every terror.

In the night of November 13th, the empty taxi of a Muslim taxi driver in New York symbolizes the meaning of “terror”. «People», the driver told, «are afraid of me, people think I am part of what happened in Paris, they don’t feel safe, thus I cannot work». In fact, the risk is that every Muslim, every person identified by the skin, every migrant is considered a terrorist.

Terrorism has consequences that go beyond the single attacks and, in spite of its anti-Western vocation, it will mostly affect migrants, be they Muslims or not. Terrorism will hit them in their everyday life, through the more or less veiled racism of small gestures, but also through official racism of the so-called security measures. Measures that use terror to indiscriminately restrict the rights of citizenship, with restriction of the freedom of movement, suddenly destroying the drudgery of thousands and thousands of men and women. All this people have built their lives in Europe, in order to escape the war and terror, but also to improve their lives, for something more than just a salary. The followers of terror know it very well. That is why in their writings and in their actions they declare war to migrants who are seeking better lives in Europe.

Terror is chasing migrants and suddenly it seems to be worth more than all their efforts, more than the exploitation they face every day in their workplaces, more than the courage with which they face a daily struggle against racist laws and against the administrative labyrinth they must step into in order to get their papers. Terror seems to be worth more than the struggles that, regardless of the religion they profess, migrants bring forward against precarious working conditions. Migrants are carrying on struggles that the Europeans no longer seem capable of doing.

Henceforth, this terror will be used against migrants in order to support institutional racism with even greater strength and legitimacy and to turn them into a permanently disposable workforce. Migrants will be the first to undergo searches and arbitrary controls, because their rights can always be removed. Terror of terrorists who call themselves Muslims will be used to subjugate all Muslims and migrants who are not terrorists, depriving them of their already precarious rights. The terror is worth more than the Muslims died at the Bataclan, more than the Muslim heroes of Charlie Hebdo, more than all those Muslims, heroes as well, that are trying to build a better future outside of Europe and to escape misery and exploitation. The terror is worth more than the fact that the terrorists who acted in Paris were a few individuals among millions of migrants. Millions of migrants who have been passing through Europe for decades.

By the same logic, the dead of Paris are more grievous than the dead in Beirut, Ankara or Nigeria, or the dead under the western bombs in Iraq, Afghanistan and Syria. They are more grievous than all the innocent Palestinians killed in Gaza for the protection of the State of Israel. The truth, though, is that those who give in to this logic, give in to terrorism. The truth is that those who put the nation first, who proclaim a state of emergency and claim to solve the problem of internal security by removing the citizenship or expelling «foreigners who put public safety at serious risk» is playing into the hands of terror, where terror plays into the hands of exploitation and racism. The European institutions have chosen to play the same game for a very long time, pursuing immigration policies made of walls and bureaucracies, in spite of the free movement and rights on which these institution declare to rely.

We know very well that there is not an ongoing war between East and West as it is often said, because fortunately the West is also made up of migrants, Muslims or not, who reject terrorism and authoritarian regimes, who are fighting for freedom for all, including Europeans, and who make up Europe, today. Likewise, we know that the Islamic world is also made up of women and men who struggle with extreme courage against terrorism, patriarchy, violence, as it happened in the streets of the Arab Spring, as it still continues to happen in Rojava and in other voiceless places.

Europe has to face a choice. This choice is not so much between war and peace, but between being standing with terror or standing with migrants and with those seeking freedom and a better life. So far, peace within Europe has been guaranteed, although often at the cost of poverty and exploitation; what Europe will choose to do now will change everyone’s life.

It is not time to desert. It is time to choose which side we are on: to do that, the daily struggle against official racism and solidarity is not enough. To do that, we need to make the next 1st of March a day in which we, migrants, refugees, and precarious workers, will show to Europe which side to be on. It will be the day when we, all together, will say our no to terror, racism and exploitation. Several movements and European trade unions already said that next 1st of March will be the day of migrants and of the strike of migrant labor, a great day of action across Europe. That day we will return to demonstrate and strike massively, in Italy and in Europe, against every terror

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