Monday, February 27, 2023

Xenophobia and Nonprofits

In Italy, "since the expansion of the EU, the most recent wave of migration has been from surrounding European states, particularly Eastern Europe, and increasingly Asia, replacing North Africa as the major immigration area." This, according to ISTAT, Italy's official census bureau.  And also, "Italy was one of the European countries with colonies in Africa during the modern period. Lasting from 1890 to 1941, Italian colonialism in Africa included the present day countries of Libya, Ethiopia, Eritrea, and Somalia. Italian colonialism in Africa came to an end with the death of the Italian leader Benito Mussolini, the collapse of the Fascist regime, and the defeat of Italy in World War II."  Of the 7,461,894 people born elsewhere now living in Italy, less than 10% -- 670,000 -- are clandestini.  And even then, not all of those extra legal immigrants are from North Africa.  The entire immigrant population is less than 9% of Italy's population.  Nevertheless, the fascists in the Italian government are literally drowning extra legal immigrants -- men, women, and children -- from North Africa in the year round choppy waters of Mediterranean Sea.  

Just yesterday, a rickety migrant ship sunk off the coast of Italy with 150 people on board.  If I don't cuss, I might spit.  For a  sober discussion of Italy's immigration policies and how they came to be what they are, read this article.  So far, 43 of the estimated 58 bodies have washed up.  The migrants were from Afghanistan (were NGO activities have been crippled by the Taliban), Iran, Pakistan, and Somalia, among other countries.  Eighty-five people survived.  

Bodies washed onto shore in a suspected migrant shipwreck, in Cutro

The remains of a sunken sailboat washed up on the shores of southern Italy.

Meanwhile, the Prime Minister and the rest of her Mussolini clones are defending their "distant ports" law that took effect just three days earlier, despite warnings that the law would result in many deaths.  That law is aimed at preventing NGO's from rescuing migrants out of the cold choppy waters of the Mediterranean Sea.  As if that will discourage desperate people from Italy's formerly occupied lands, and other places, from risking it all to escape the places from which colonists derived illegal wealth and even bodies.  Italy, ironically, abolished slavery in its African colonies.  But on the very first day the distant ports law went into effect, Italy fined Medecins Sans Frontieres (Doctors Without Borders) and banned its rescue boats from Italian ports for 20 days.  

Hours after the parliamentary vote, the Doctors Without Borders (MSF) charity said its Geo Barents vessel had been blocked for 20 days and the organisation fined 10,000 euros. The sanctions were imposed after MSF was accused of withholding some information about a rescue it completed last week, when the Geo Barents took 48 migrants to the Adriatic port of Ancona, a spokesperson for the charity said.

Bodies wash ashore in a suspected migrant shipwreck, in Cutro

Rescue personnel collect washed up bodies on a southern Italian beach.

The right wing xenophobic fascist bastards in the government offered the Italian version of "thoughts and prayers" even as bodies were still being collected:"

Italian Prime Minister Giorgia Meloni expressed "deep sorrow" for the deaths. Blaming human traffickers, she vowed to block migrant sea departures to prevent such disasters.  Her right-wing administration has taken a hard line on migration since taking office in October, mostly by restricting the activities of migrant rescue charities with tough new laws that won final parliamentary approval on Thursday. Meloni accuses charities of encouraging migrants to make the dangerous sea journey to Italy, acting as so-called "pull factors". Charities reject this, saying migrants set off regardless of whether rescue boats are in the vicinity. "Stopping, blocking and hindering the work of NGOs (non-governmental organisations) will have only one effect: the death of vulnerable people left without help," Spanish migrant rescue charity Open Arms tweeted in reaction to Sunday's shipwreck.

“Let not any one pacify his conscience by the delusion that he can do no harm if he takes no part, and forms no opinion. Bad men need nothing more to compass their ends, than that good men should look on and do nothing. He is not a good man who, without a protest, allows wrong to be committed in his name, and with the means which he helps to supply, because he will not trouble himself to use his mind on the subject.”  -- John Stuart Mill, 1867.

darryll jones

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