A slogan in the 80’s said: ‘It’s not the noise of the boot that should scare us today, but the silence of the slipper’.
Now they’re both coming back. With a holy war speech (the police as ‘army of good’ protecting citizens from the ‘army of evil’, as the Prime Minister said recently), day after day the State conceals its essence at the expense of immigrants. Their homes are devastated, aliens are rounded up in the streets, locked up in Lagers and expelled in total indifference. New detention camps are already under construction in many cities.
The State wants to limit the number of visas according to the exact length of work contracts, blacklist all immigrants, make being clandestine a crime and re-inforce deportation. The democratic mechanism of rights and citizenship, wide as that might be, will always presuppose the existence of excluded people. To criticise and try to prevent expulsions signifies realising a critique of racism and nationalism in act; it means creating a common space for revolt against the capitalist uprooting that affects us all; it means obstructing a hateful and essential re-pressive mechanism; it means breaking the silence and indifference of the civilized ones who stand looking on; lastly, it means confronting the very concept of law with the principle ‘we are all aliens’. Finally, it signifies an attack on one of the pillars of the State and class society: competition between the poor and the in-creasingly seditious substitution of social war with ethnic or religious wars.
In order to function the expulsion framework requires the collaboration of many public and private structures (from the Red Cross which cooperates in the manage-ment of Lagers, to companies which supply services, to airline companies which deport aliens, to the airports that put up waiting zones, to self-styled charity asso-ciations that operate in collaboration with the police). All those responsible can easily be seen and attacked. From actions against detention camps (as happened a couple of years ago in Belgium and a few months ago in Australia, when demonstrations ended up with the liberation of some clandestine immigrants) to those against ‘waiting zones’ (as in France, against the Ibis hotels chain that supplies the police with rooms) or obstructing the flights of infamy (in Frankfurt, the sabotage of optic fibre cables some years ago put all the computers of an airport out of order for a couple of days), there are thousands of activities that a movement against expulsion can carry out.
Today like never before it’s in the street that it’s possible to rebuild class solidarity. Only in the complicity against police raids, in the struggle against the military occupation of neighbourhoods, in the firm rejection of every division that the masters of society want to impose on us (nationals and foreigners, legal immigrants and aliens), aware that every outrage suffered by any dispossessed on Earth is an outrage to everyone, will the exploited from a thousand countries be able to recognize themselves.