Fatou Diomé – Accueillir toute la misère du monde

These people whose bodies are washing up on these shores, – and I carefully choose my words – if they were Whites, the whole Earth should be shaking now. Instead, it’s Blacks and Arabs who are dying and their lives are cheaper.

The European Union, with its navy and war fleet can rescue the migrants in the Atlantic and the Mediterranean Sea if they want to, but they sit and wait till the migrants die. It’s as if letting them drown is used as a deterrent to prevent migrants from coming to Europe. But let me tell you something: that doesn’t deter anyone…because the individual who is migrating as a survival instinct, who believes that the life they are living isn’t worth much, he’s not afraid of death.
Sir, you guys will not remain like little goldfish in the European fortress. The current crisis tell us that much. Europe can no longer close itself as long as there are conflicts elsewhere around the world. Europe can no longer live in opulence where there are so much unmet needs around the world. We live in a global society where an Indian makes a living in Dakar, someone from Dakar makes a living in New York, and a Gabonese makes a living in Paris. Whether you like it or not, this process is irreversible.

When you are a White Canadian or an Argentine and you come to live in France, you are an expat… But if you are African, or Indian, or Afghan, and you come to France or Germany, you are in immigrant, no matter the circumstances. It is the representation that Europe does to the Other that feeds xenophobia.

And the Schengen visa that you speak of – You will let me finish!—this visa gives me the opportunity to be invited to give talks in your universities if you find my brains convenient and profitable, but it bothers you that my brother, who may not have the degrees that I have, but who may want to maybe come to Europe and work in construction, that idea makes your countries schizophrenic. You cannot divide the migrants between the useful ones and the poisonous ones.

Also, you see on the headline the flow of African migrants arriving in Europe but you don’t speak of the Europeans going in Africa. That’s the free flow of the powerful, the ones who have the money, and the right kind of passports. You go to Senegal, to Mali, to any country around the world… Anywhere I go, I meet French people, Germans, and Dutch. I see them everywhere around the world, because they have the right passport. With your passport, you go anywhere around the world, and act like you run those place, with your pretentious demeanor. Stop the hypocrisy. We will all be rich together, or perish together.

http://africasacountry.com/that-moment-when-senegalese-writer-fatou-diome-kicked-european-union-butt/

Iceland, People Building a Revolution

Pots, Pans and Other Solutions

Synopsis

In Iceland, the first European country to wake up to an economic crash, people became aware that they could and should intervene in society and started demanding more democratic participation.
The payment of bank debts by citizens went to referendum. The government was forced to create a Council to write a new constitution: a citizens’ group – without politicians, lawyers or university professors – who opened the discussion process to everybody and managed to approve by consensus a draft proposal.

In Iceland, many citizens are now organized in associations and have substantial proposals for a society where everyone can participate.

Let’s meet the Icelanders that the media refuse to talk about.

This documentary was idealized, conceived and produced by Miguel Marques, Yolanda Rienderhoff,  Pedro Bruno Carreira and LIGHTS ON(E). We had no sponsors whatsoever.

If you liked it and you have the means, feel free “to pay your ticket”. You can make a bank transfer of 1 to 5 euros to:

International Bank Account Number: PT50 0035 0549 0005 4403 9005 4

Portuguese Account Number: 0035 0549 0005 4403…

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Labor as caring for other people

David Graeber expands on his immensely popular The Phenomenon of Bullshit Jobs in this interview for Salon.com.

When I talk about bullshit jobs, I mean, the kind of jobs that even those who work them feel do not really need to exist. A lot of them are made-up middle management, you know, I’m the “East Coast strategic vision coordinator” for some big firm, which basically means you spend all your time at meetings or forming teams that then send reports to one another. Or someone who works in an industry that they feel doesn’t need to exist, like most of the corporate lawyers I know, or telemarketers, or lobbyists…. Just think of when you walk into a hospital, how half the employees never seem to do anything for sick people, but are just filling out insurance forms and sending information to each other. Some of that work obviously does need to be done, but for the most part, everyone working there knows what really needs to get done and that the remaining 90 percent of what they do is bullshit. And then think about the ancillary workers that support people doing the bullshit jobs: here’s an office where people basically translate German formatted paperwork into British formatted paperwork or some such, and there has to be a whole infrastructure of receptionists, janitors, security guards, computer maintenance people, which are kind of second-order bullshit jobs, they’re actually doing something, but they’re doing it to support people who are doing nothing.

On the one hand, there’s this ideological imperative to validate work as virtue in itself. Which is constantly being reinforced by the larger society. On the other hand, there’s the reality that most work is obviously stupid, degrading, unnecessary, and the feeling that it is best avoided whenever possible. But it makes it very difficult to organize, as workers, against work.

The full interview here:

http://www.salon.com/2014/06/01/help_us_thomas_piketty_the_1s_sick_and_twisted_new_scheme/

Fascism Inc.: How Economic Elites Support Fascist Parties in Europe – Today and in the Past

In his new documentary „Fascism Inc.“, Aris Chatzistefanou shows how industrialists and bankers supported fascism in the 1920s and 30s in order to destroy socialist movements and trade unions. Today – again in times of crisis – this pattern reoccurs at the periphery of Europe: in Greece extreme right wing parties like “Golden Dawn” and “LAOS” have been supported by parts of the economic elites and media corporations. “LAOS” was even welcomed by the EU and the IMF as part of the non-elected government of Lucas Papadimos. In the Ukraine as well the EU, the US and the IMF have supported a government with the participation of the neo-nazi party Svoboda in order to enforce their economic and geopolitical agenda – a risky game that can easily get out of control.  ~ via Kontext TV

Interview for Kontext TV Part 1: http://www.kontext-tv.de/node/429

Interview for Kontext TV Part 2: http://www.kontext-tv.de/node/430

View the full movie with multilingual subtitles here: