The festival of strangers and troublemakers —Debates on Monday #15
Now we approach the time of year when countries within the Schengen zone commemorate the asylum seekers María and Jósef, who once upon a time travelled from place to place without proper travel documents and were turned down everywhere on the basis of the Dublin regulation.
No one really knew what they were fleeing from. As the couple found themselves in Reykjavík, Iceland, María was expectant. Authorities doubted if Jósef was the expected child’s biological father. Why would she travel with him at all, officials wondered, finding it all highly suspicious.
One night, without prior notice, hired thugs in uniform arrested Jósef, forced him on an airplane and flew him off to Switzerland. They allowed María to stay, at least long enough, they hoped, to conclusively separate the two.
María took shelter in an industrial building in Kópavogur, where she gave birth. Three wise guys visited her, making all sorts of provocative and unsubstantiated claims about her situation. The historian among them said: “There is a higher law than the Dublin regulation. The Universal Declaration of Human Rights must and will be fulfilled”. The law student said: “These deportations are not even required by the Dublin regulation. The regulation was supposed to create a safety net for refugees, it was never meant an excuse to throw people back and forth between countries like that”. The unemployed punk said: “Never mind the exact current phrasing. This is the nature of the capitalist nation-state. So long as it prevails, one way or another, it will guard its borders and deport uninvited newcomers.”
Local authorities and their thugs wondered what to do next. They decided to go in as the “Fire Department”. One morning, again without any prior notice, they invaded the woman’s apartment to “rescue” her from what they described as an “urgent fire hazard”. “There’s no fire,” said the woman as she looked around. “There will be,” they retorted and grinned. “Take all your things and leave. Now, now, now, move it, move it!”
As the woman packed her things, some people passed by. The thugs explained to onlookers that María would be better off now that a charity organisation would accommodate her. They did their best to wipe off their grins and, instead, smile compassionately.
A charity worker kindly led María away and into a van. As the van drove off and onlookers dispersed, the thugs said to each other: “We better finish this off in the new year, kick them out of the Republic before long, or that kid of hers might cause all sorts of trouble.”