Resisting Europe’s necropolitics

Resisting Europe’s necropolitics

Fortnightly Bulletin

Written by: IRR News Team

IRR News 23 May – 6 June 2023

In a week in which the Prime Minister Rishi Sunak declared that Home Secretary Suella Braverman’s ‘Stop the Boats’ policy is ‘working’, this week’s Calendar of Racism and Resistance shows exactly where a single-minded focus on cutting non-European arrivals leads.

From the failure to respond to distress signals from boats in the Channel, to high-profile investigations into illegal push-backs in Greece and Malta, to the cover-up by Frontex of the avoidable deaths of 94 people in the Mediterranean, Europe’s ‘necropolitics’ has been laid painfully bare. At the same time, IRR News monitoring also crystallises the ways in which communities of resistance are responding to the use of state power to decide who lives and dies. Whether it be Stop Deportations opposing deportation flights to Jamaica, or the captains and crews of Search and Rescue (SAR) NGOs challenging the Piantedosi decree in Italy, the answer from campaigners has been to step up civil disobedience on the grounds of the moral obligation to disobey unjust laws. Another opportunity to solidify and strategise will come later this month, when Arci Porco Rosso, Captain Support and Watch The Channel come together for a public discussion in London. (Contact May Day Rooms for details.) Transnational alliances are, indeed, all the more urgent given that, according to Statewatch, a leaked European Commission paper proposes that private search and rescue must be ‘regulated’ and ‘certificated’ – causing consternation among SAR NGOs that this means further restrictions on their ability to carry out rescues.

In this week’s calendar, we also report on protests in Belgium at the lenient sentences handed out to 18 former members of Reuzegom, an elite KU Leuven university fraternity, for their ‘involuntary role’ in the death of 20-year-old black student Sanda Dia, during a brutal and degrading initiation ritual. Shockingly, the courts failed to consider race as a factor and anonymity was given to the accused who were sentenced to community services and fines. The IRR has been following this awful case since 2018 and the full background can be found in the Register of Racism and Resistance.

The Institute of Race Relations is precluded from expressing a corporate view: any opinions expressed are therefore those of the authors.

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