It wasn’t supposed to end like this, washed up face down on a beach, for little Aylan Kurdi. His family were trying to flee from Syria and get to Canada.
Aylan’s brother was also lost to the sea- they were 3 and 5 years old. Their father Abdullah wants to return with the bodies to their Kurdish home town of Kobani. The town was bombarded during heavy fighting this year between Islamic State and Kurdish fighters.
Tens of thousands of people have fled the ongoing conflict in Syria. Aunt Teema Kurdi, a hairdresser in Vancouver, was willing to sponsor the refugees to come to Canada but they were refused in March.
Canada’s immigration laws require the sponsorship of 5 Canadian citizens before you can get in.
The inaction of our rulers to the plight of the refugees stands in contrast to the outpouring of mass solidarity from working people across Europe.
Football supporters’ groups in England are looking to follow the example set by their German counterparts by holding aloft “Refugees Welcome” banners at home matches.
The former Aston Villa striker Stan Collymore is among those supporting the campaign: “I think our great club could and should do our bit to help.”
Support groups for refugees have flowered all over Europe. People are signing petitions, organising meetings and demanding to know why politicians are not doing more.
Here in Ireland thousands of people have pledged online to house a refugee. The public outcry has forced Alan Kelly to commit to raising the number of people accepted into Ireland from a measly 600.
But we need to keep the pressure up and make the politicians deliver on their promises. There is a call for Europe wide protests in solidarity with the refugees.
There is a protest on Saturday Sept 5th at the Famine Memorial at 2pm and a major protest called by United Against Racism for 2pm the following Saturday at 2pm at the Spire in Dublin.
Memet Uludag, one of the organisers of the United Against Racism protest said;
“We have seen enough pictures and videos of horror. There is an immediate crisis which requires immediate action. Our governments can’t keep hiding behind excuses and never ending meetings. They compete with each other to take in the least number of refugees in the longest period possible. This number game and deflection from the real actions must stop now. States, ministers, leaders don’t have the right to cry looking at dead children pictures. Their job is to make sure they don’t die in trying to start a new life. Anything else is unacceptable.”
Racism is a weapon used by the ruling class to divide workers. There are more than enough resources to house everyone but the ruling class would rather we didn’t discover the real root of scarcity- class inequality. In the last week this ruling class narrative has broken down.
People are questioning the inhumanity of Fortress Europe and the consequent deaths of refugees. Even the media have been forced to drop their racist rhetoric and soften their language in the face of a public outcry.
In the short term we need to force our rulers to take in more refugees- we must connect our demand for entry to a demand for access to the job market. Refugees cannot be held in detention camps and terrible asylum centres.
Every pair of hands is a pair of hands that can help build a better society. We need to build the protests by convincing as many people as possible from our communities and workplaces to come out.
Every act of solidarity and protest counts.
In the long term we need an alternative to a system run by warmongers in the interests of the bankers and the rich. In a capitalist society people are blocked while money can roam free. In a socialist society people would be free and wealth would serve human need.
If you agree then join the socialists.
Text ‘JOIN’ to 0863074060.