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June 4, 2024 44 mins

James talks with Mick and Roos about the EU’s deadly border enforcement against vulnerable migrants.

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Speaker 1 (00:01):
All media. Hell, everyone, welcome to it could happen here.
Podcasts about things falling apart and people putting them back together.
Today we're talking about a little of both of those things.
I'm joined by Rose, who's a migration activist in the Netherlands,
and Mick, who has studied migration. We're going to talk
about the EU's border today, and we're going to talk

about I think a lot of people, especially the bulk
of our listeners in the United States, won't be aware,
perhaps of how incredibly cruel and fatal the EU's border is,
what it does to people, how it does it, where
it does it. So we're going to talk about that today.
It's very exciting. There's even more war than we have
in the United States, so I'm looking forward to that.

And so Hi, Welcome to the show, both of you.

Speaker 2 (00:47):
Hi, Thanks, Hi, Thanks for having us.

Speaker 1 (00:50):
Thanks for being here. The way we wanted to structure
this was Mick has like an excellent presentation for We're
going to structure this over two episodes. First, we want
to talk about the state of things, and then we
want to talk about activism in ways that people can
meaningfully make a difference in this situation. So Nick, Yeah,

do you'd like to take it away with your with
your script here wrote and I will interject whenever we
feel like it.

Speaker 2 (01:17):
Okay, fair enough, let's go.

Speaker 3 (01:20):

Speaker 2 (01:20):
The EU border crisis is largely crisis of the Mediterranean
to see that separates Europe from Africa, and it is
arguably one of the most deadly borders in the world,
if not the most deadly border. According to several activists
organizations such as the United Against Refugee Devs and Abolish Frontex,

which is the EU border agency in charge of protecting
the border, over fifty two thousand people have died at
this border as of June twenty twenty three. This number
is almost certainly higher to a number of factors, one
of which is the significant amount of bodies are never recovered,
which makes it very hard to verify whether or not

someone has died or is lost somewhere in the migration routes.
Migration patterns are very hard to keep track of. People
travel hundreds of kilometers to simply get to a point
where they can get access to boats or other means
of being transported across the sea. Yeah, I have a
picture here that I would like to share with you.

Listeners can find it in the notes and sources.

Speaker 1 (02:30):
Maybe we'll try and describe it, just so you know
someone's driving or something they can I guess, Yeah, go ahead,
give me a best shot.

Speaker 2 (02:38):
Okay. It's a map of continental Europe with adjacent to
it Africa and Eurasia. And it's a bunch of arrows
coalescing on to certain points that grow bigger and bigger.
And these represent the migration routes and the number of
people that take a particular path. As you can see,

the thick line, the thicker the ligne, the more people
it represents. The thinner lines come from the Middle East
and further to the east. In terms of obstacles and danger,
I think it's safe to say that crossing Iraq or
Syria is not without risk.

Speaker 1 (03:14):
Yeah, yeah, I've done that. It's yeah, and I've done
it in cars and with permission, and it's already pretty
high risk. It's interesting this map is it's a twenty
seventeen map. Am I seeing that right?

Speaker 2 (03:27):
Yes, it's from the Frontext quarterly reports too, which covers
April till June twenty seventeen.

Speaker 1 (03:34):
Yeah, so maybe this is after the peak of people
leaving that Iraq and Syria area they like there.

Speaker 3 (03:42):
Yeah, after twenty fifteen Mayhem.

Speaker 1 (03:46):
Yes, yeah, exactly, not that there are not still significant numbers.
I mean I speak to people in Syria most weeks
who are trying to leave Syria. It's become harder and
harder due in part to the EU making it borders
harder and harder and more and more deadly to cross,
and due to a number of other reasons. But yeah,
I think those those lines would have been fatter if

we'd gone back, like, you know, three or four years. Yeah,
I mean people in Europe will probably have been familiar
with this. I mean, of course, says THEE. When was
the photo taken of the young child who passed away
that was like Cordy.

Speaker 3 (04:23):
I think that was in the summer of.

Speaker 2 (04:26):
Bottom Yeah, Alan Curdy. Yeah, the boy's name was Alan Curty.
I think a brother of his ground as well.

Speaker 1 (04:37):
Yeah, people can look that up if they want to.
I'll try not to include it. It's quite a horrible
thing to have to witness.

Speaker 2 (04:45):
No, it's it's it's not a nice photo to see. Ironically,
it was one of the few moments where like European
people could muster some sympathy for refugees, but yeah, that
wins at some point.

Speaker 1 (04:58):
Yeah, it's always a case like I don't know, I
am talking about this before speak about again. But like
the other day, I was out dropping water and we
came across a little three year old girl and her
mother from Guinea, and the young girl was very hypothermic,
Like at first we didn't notice because we're like, oh,
this girl is very quiet, and then we're like, oh, okay,
this girl is very very quiet, and perhaps, you know,

we should be concerned, and like, I don't know how,
and no one in their right mind would be like, yeah,
this is normal and good, and I'm really glad that
this child is in a place where, you know, if
left for several more hours, she might die. And everyone
in that situation, to include people who were just driving by,
were like, oh fuck, we need to help. But sadly,

when we abstract it to numbers, which is the way
it's always reported on, right, it's not stories, it's not people,
it's not little children, it's fifty something thousand people. You know,
it's hard to imagine fifty something thousand people dying. It's
easier to feel something for one little boy.

Speaker 3 (05:57):
Yeah, and it's easier to feel something for a child
or a man. It's easier to feel something for a
woman than man. And also even the death of Alanchourli
despite all the yeah, outraged provoked. It was also used
as a to make the Turkey Deal, which was intended
to stop people crossing by boat from Turkey to Greece,

even though that was actually one of the safest migration
roots we had at the time, and it closed up
and people started to move to Libya and instead of
three kilometers of sea, that meant people had to cross
one hundred or more kilometers of sea, which was obviously
way more deadly.

Speaker 1 (06:34):
Yeah, and just did you need to Libya? And that
time in Libya's where we'll find out later is far
from risk free.

Speaker 3 (06:42):
Yeah. Libya is a very different place than Turkey.

Speaker 2 (06:45):
Absolutely, Yeah, significantly worse to be than yeah, Turkey. So
to get back on track, as you can also see
from the picture of a vast majority of those migration
routes crossed the Sahara Desert, people who die in the
desert or through other dangers on their journey do not

make it to the Mediterranean and therefore at tend to
not end up in the statistics of people dying there,
But I would still argue that it is undeniable that
those people in fact died due to the migration policies
that the EU puts in place and enforces. Definitely, it's
just outside of our purview.

Speaker 3 (07:26):
The United list again of refugee deaths, it's taking into
account anyone whose death can be attributed to the border,
So they do also include people dying in the desert,
but there is much less news about it, So the
figures of frontacs and of IOM usually do not include those.
But the number you just mentioned that with fifty two thousand,

it also includes people who made suicide and detention centers,
or who died of medical neglecting camps. But it also
includes people who died further from the European border, but
still on borders that are controlled are influenced by European policies.

Speaker 1 (08:03):
Yeah, in the US like to give a sort of
comparison example that the statistics we have that come from
border patrol, those are the remains that are found, which
is a subset of the remains that exist in it,
and it doesn't take into account people who died crossing
Mexico creepeople who died as fastus as a Darian gap right,

which is very dangerous, and it's becoming more so as
more traffic goes across it. People who died taking boats
around the Daryan Gap right or for whatever reason didn't
make it. So we too have this kind of attempt
to I guess when we get government statistics, we have
to remember that they come from a government perspective and
they will try and minimize the obvious cruelty that's happening.

Speaker 2 (08:45):
I think that's a characteristic of almost every government that
keep the numbers low and don't really engage with the
actual problems that are at hand. So before we go
into more specific territories, there are a few things that
should be made clear. The EU does not follow their
own rules about migration. Hopefully, at the end of this

the listeners will also accept that the humanitarian and migration
crises is much more a product of border policies rather
than the policies being a consequence of migration. To first
illustrate this, here is a quote from government dot NL,
the English version of the Dutch government websites Asylum or Return.

All refugees entering the EU may apply for asylum. They
must do this in the country where they enter the EU.
Asylum Seekers who do not require protection must return to
their country of origin or to a save third country.
The EU respects the human rights of refugees, both when
dealing with their applications and with regard to return. So

I want you all to keep this in mind when
we continue, because this phrasing ignores other policies that make
much harder for migrants and refugees to even enter the
EU or to be able to apply for asylum. So,
and before we dive deeper into the atrocities that the
EU enables, I think it's important to first briefly explain

how the border system works and the history behind it.
Europe is no stranger to migration and migrants, and it
is something that has been happening in the waves over
the past three to four decades. In the early nineties,
there were multiple waves of migrants from Albania to other
European countries. The main cause of this was the isolationist

policies that were enforced by the communist regime that was
in charge there, the unrest that followed at the end
of the regime, and the crisis of Kosovo. For those unaware,
Kosovo had a war with Serbia for independence and Kosovari
people are largely ethnic Albanians with the same language, and

because of this, it was easier for Albanians to merge
with the Kostafari refugees and use that to migrate further
and easier into Europe. Other waves are closed by other
geopolitical events, such as the Jasmine Revolution in Tunisia, which
I think Mia and Roberts covered in their episode on

self immolation. Yeah, okay, and much more down to everyone
divorce in Syria and Libya.

Speaker 1 (11:26):
My interest in the border is has always run parallel
to my interesting conflict in reporting on conflict, and like
it's just become such a such a recurrent experience to
either learn about conflicts at the border here because somebody
is telling me about them, or learn about often like
repression of ethnic or national or religious minorities because someone

here tells me about them, or to go somewhere. You know,
I was in Syria in October, was in Iraq the
and then return and see people from there at our border.
And like, as people will be aware the asylum system
and it will cover it later. The asylum system allows
people who are very in danger of persecution for various

categories to apply for asylum. It's not functioning. It's not
functioning the e U, it's not functioning in the US.
Like I've seen that persecution with my own eyes and
the consequences of it, and I've seen people try and
get away from it. Every single time I'm in somewhere
like that, people will ask me for help, and it
is fucking heartbreaking to be like, yeah, the country that

you see flying the F sixteens or the F thirty
fives over your head, the planes that cost more than
this entire town makes in a year. No, we can't
have a functioning fucking immigration system. Like in the case
of the US, it's this app which doesn't work and
you can only use it Northern Mexico City. And it's
this broken system leads to people. They're not like getting

in a boat across the Mediterranean, crossing the Darien Gap,
walking across the mountains of Northern Mexico because they want
to have like a better iPhone. They're doing it because
whatever the alternative is seems worse and it's worth People
are fully aware that they're risking their lives on these journeys.
It's you know, it's not that they live without access

to news and the internet. They know about the death
in the Mediterranean, they know about the Dariant Gap. When
I talk to migrants who haven't crossed the gap, like
I was talking to group of Colombian migrants two or
three days ago, and they were coming in to the
US through It's in an area east of Hocomber, which's
very rugged and very mountainous, and they were coming into

an open air detention site where border patrol holds them.
And I was talking to them, I say, how many
if you walked, how many if you flew. Most of
them flew and then were able to work forward. The
ones who walked. Everyone was like, oh shit, that's horrible,
Like you must have seen terrible things. Like they're very
aware of how dangerous these journeys are. The reason that

they're taking them is because it seems like staying at
home would be more dangerous.

Speaker 3 (14:03):
Yeah, although I would like to add that it's not
every migrant is a real refugee, and not every migrant
has to be a real refugee. Yes, at least as
the definition was established in the fifties by a bunch
of pretentious guys who kind of decided this is a
good reason to migrate and all other reasons are not.

At first, yeah, at first I worked in Greece and
that was mainly with people of like what are considered
like objectively real or good refugees, like people from Afghanistan
and Iraq and Syria, whereas when I was working in
Bosnia it was mainly people from Morocco, Algeria, Pakistan. And
a lack of opportunity can be a very good reason

to move. I think most white people who moved to
America did so because of that. Yeah, not because they
were imminently you know, bombed in their home countries, but
because they wanted to make something out of their lives
and they didn't have opportunities at home. And I think
this whole concept of refugee is meant to distinguish between

good and bad reasons to move, and good and bad
people migrants. In the end, people can do really dangerous
things for giving their children a better life, and if
their children are not immediate danger. And the other thing
I would like to stress is that I think the
migration regime that we see today is very tightly connected

to colonization and decolonization. For example, specifically in the Midlands,
Surinam was a Dutch colony and one of the reasons
why the Dutch government agreed with decolonization was because the
Dutch society started to get worried about all the black
people showing up. So and the same something similar happened

with the independence word that Algeria fought against France. France
preferred to give them independence rather than give them equal
rights and access to the French territory. Like creating those
barriers and keeping people in the Global South after these
countries became independent is very tighly connected with ecolonization, but

of course especially with new colonization and new ways of
controlling people in the Global South and exploiting them.

Speaker 1 (16:17):
Yeah, if we look at like the US context, the
United States government has managed to engineer this sort of
compromise where capital travels freely across the Americas and people
don't right, so it's possible for them to exploit lower
wage labor, for US companies to exploit lower wage labor
in Mexico and other countries to the south, but not
for those people to come and seek a better way

to better way of living in the country that is
consuming the products of their labor and so like this
is obviously not new to people, right, this is a
thing that's appartist to highlighted in nineteen ninety four and
it's been the case for thirty years. But yeah, we
have in the US because the United States and colonialism
like kind of a in a somewhat less overway, although

often in a pretty over way. It's facilitated undemocratic regimes
and a low quality of life for people all across
specifically the Americas, but also the rest of the world.
And it's now seeking to prevent those people from coming
here after it destabilized to their countries, right or in
the case of climate change, again, like the consumption habits

of certain countries that have had an impact on people
all around the world, to include people in more dieconomic circumstances.
And it shouldn't be any less should we shouldn't have
any less empathy or solidarity with those people because no
one's bombing them and they just want to chance for
their kids to do the same shit. Like I moved
to America and I was twenty one because they want

many jobs for me at home, Like there's something.

Speaker 3 (17:44):
Very arrogant about thinking that you can decide whether someone
else has a right to exist totally. And I think
that's kind of what migration policies are.

Speaker 1 (17:55):
Yeah, and as you pointed out, they were established after
the Second World War with a very narrow set of categories.
Don't include not only do not include climate change, but
also like generalized violence, right, the generalized veru. Yeah.

Speaker 3 (18:07):
Actually it's like seeing from a war is not making
you a real refugee according to international.

Speaker 1 (18:12):
Law, yeah, yeah, which is.

Speaker 3 (18:13):
Something people don't know. So like an average sharing refugee
is actually legally not.

Speaker 1 (18:18):
A refugee, right, Yeah, they are in.

Speaker 3 (18:20):
Discriminate violence, but not like they don't have like political
they don't have a right to political asylum.

Speaker 1 (18:26):
Yeah, or like people in Ecuador will will talk to
talk to people from Ecuador a lot, you know, and
they'll be like, well, you've seen men they took over
the TV station. So there's some gangs took over a
TV station there recently, and it's kind of an armed takeover.
And then like, as you can see, would you want
your child growing up there? You know, if you had children,
And of course it's a very compelling argument and if

I was in their position with young children. Guy I
met the other day his son needed medical care that
he couldn't obtain in his country. You know, like that's
a perfectly valid reason for coming here. But none of
those things count for asylum to those people that I'd
a lumped into quote unquote economic migrants, which is still
you know, like people have a right to a living

wage and to be able to pay for their family,
to have the things that they need to survive and thrive.
You're right, the asylum system is very narrow, and we.

Speaker 2 (19:16):
Should also not forget that, even if we're excluding war,
you can't really separate migration from the things the West
has done in those other countries to maintain that neocolonial
relationship and you know, keep those keep those people dependent

on whatever whims there are in the West, and whether
that's for resources, whether that's for because there were like
the communist regimes there that we weren't happy with. Like,
you can't separate that. You can separate the conditions that
are happening there right now to things that have been
decided in the West years prior.

Speaker 1 (20:00):
Yeah, very true, All right, we're back. Have you enjoyed
those adverts products and services following our discussion on how
capitalism has made life unlivable in certain parts of the world.

So Mick Kail, let's pick up with you explaining this
to EU border to us well.

Speaker 2 (20:26):
I found a very nice scholarly article that breaks down
how the EU borders work and makes a very clear
distinction between the different layers that protect fortress Europe. These
layers will be called the paper border, which largely consists
of visa policies and similar bureaucracy that regulates movement to

the EU and within it. Then we have the iron border,
which is exactly what you imagine it to me, it's
the physical structures and forms of control that we put
up to keep people out. And then we have the
post border, and that's about the reception of migrants, migrant
shelters and similar constructions that keep migrants and refugees ostracized

and isolated even after being allowed access into the EU
and having started a asylum process. For those stories, we
should turn to Rose when we get there, because she
is much more on the ground experience than I have
with this, So we'll start with the paper border. During
the mid eighties, the EU started to propose and enact

a series of treaties and policies that in effect strengthened
the external borders and loosened the borders within Europe. I
think no one is particularly interested in this series of treaties,
so I will name the only one is the Shangan Treaty.
This treaty essentially unites the external borders under EU command

rather than as a task for individual states. In practice,
this also means that you citizens who have a proper
documentation can move really between countries who are who have
signed the sang In Treaty for holidays or work loose.
You and I we could move to Germany tomorrow if
we wanted to, and I have little to know obstacles

in terms of like documentary.

Speaker 3 (22:24):
Were economically independent though, like that is very crucial about
your friend. Enough movement is conditional on.

Speaker 1 (22:31):
You making money, yeah, having enough money to support yourself.
But you can move like this is very funny. Pissed
off British people who are living in Spain right when
they when Britain brexited, because they hadn't realized that they
would impact them. They you know, like.

Speaker 3 (22:47):
Was only the Polish that we yeah, like the undesirable migrants,
but yes, assume themselves to be desirable.

Speaker 1 (22:54):
Yeah, well, yeah, I don't think we use the word
expat right like Bridge would use the word expected its
describe a migrant from Britain to Spain like it's yeah,
it's reallyiculous. I mean, I've lived in front in Spain,
of fift in Belgium and I was, I guess, somewhat
economically independent. Made twelve thousand years a year as a
bike racer, but that was you know, I could do that.

It's very easy for me, but it is.

Speaker 3 (23:18):
I do think it's important because I think it's one
of those post border things that what we see for
some point in analyts is that most homeless people here
are not the undocumented migrants. They are not the refugees
or Dutch people that they're EU migrants. So people have
low paying jobs, break their legs, get kicked out of
their houses and their jobs, and are not welcoming to

homeless shelters because an endlands says, well, you are not
economically independent. There were, Yeah, so this is also part
of the migration regime, and this is also part of
keeping migrants exploitable. Even if you use citizens have the
right to work, they don't. They're only allowed to work.
We only want them if they bring in econo profits.

We don't want them when they're sick or neat or whatever.

Speaker 2 (24:04):
Yeah, and then mostly we want them for jobs that
we feel too good to actually do. When I was younger,
I used to work in a greenhouse, and there's an
immense amount of people from like Poland or other Eastern
European countries coming there because Dutch people tend not to
want to work in a greenhouse. It's one of those things.

Speaker 1 (24:27):
It's an extension of that, like a colonial perspective, right
that like, these are not jobs for.

Speaker 2 (24:33):
Us exactly because you get your hands dirty and we
can't have that here. To put the whole thing about
the paper border into less academic term, the EU started
to act like a nation state and started to make
sharp distinctions between native and non native European citizens. I

think it's worth pointing out that what counts as EU
is also a how was it? European identity. It's very
closely tied to geographical location and therefore also implicitly linked
to Christianity. Countries that are largely non Christian but connected
to Europe tend to be excluded. Turkey is partially in

Europe but not part of the EU, and Bosnia Herzegovina,
which is a majority Muslim country, is also excluded from that.
But much like Turkey is being tempted with the whole
maybe you can join if you do this and that,
but we're not really committing to that. That, however, is

a story for another time. Maybe The point that I
want to make here is that the visa program for
Europe is based on geographical discrimination. Countries outside the geography
of Europe are blacklisted and cannot gain access to the
papers that they need to legally enter the EU. This
bureaucracy prohibits people from entering the EU before fences or

border guards have even entered the equation, hence the paper border,
since entering or crossing without a paper visa is nigh impossible.

Speaker 3 (26:12):
Yeah, I would like to add, of course, like it
is geographical discrimination, but of course indirectly it is discrimination
based on class and race, So it is people of
color but not the super rich people of color, and
it is yeah, it is. It is formerly colonized countries
that are largely that even have an obligation to get

a visa, so people from the US can travel visa free,
same for people from Australia. So it is like it
is very ironic. I find that it's in Europe it's
considered legal to discriminate based on nationality, even though it
is very clearly a very smart way to discriminate actually
people based on the color of their skin and their

economic status.

Speaker 2 (26:57):
Exactly what you said, Rose, Like all the countries that
are backlisted are like from the the global South, so
I have to speak almost all of them. But I
talked to about this with a professor of mine a
while back, and I think if you can put down
like thirty thousand euros, then you can get a visa

even if you're from those countries.

Speaker 3 (27:19):
Exactly. So the super rich. Actually, the super rich have
freedom of movements, yeah, but the it is always the
poor migrants whose movement is problematic and whose.

Speaker 1 (27:30):
Movement is Yeah. In Britain and in the US, there's
a lot of discourse about like open borders. I've noticed like, oh,
the border is open, right, Like the border has always
been open to people like me. I live in the
United States, right, I am a US citizen. Now I'm
also a British citizen. I've lived and worked in Spain,
I've lived and worked in France, I've lived and worked

in Belgium. I can go, and I can get a
visa to i Rack. I can get a visa to
anywhere I want. The borders have always been open to
white people who have financial means. What they're saying when
they're saying open borders is implicitly border is open to
people who are not white, not wealthy, perhaps not Christian.
And what one can infer from that is a great

deal of bigotry and a great deal of like unease
about living, you know, alongside people who you feel like
are not like the same quote unquote as you, which
is particularly run in the United States, right in a
country which is itself a settler colony.

Speaker 2 (28:29):
Yeah, it's all very very uplifting stuff. I do want
to end this particular bit with the quote from that article, Yeah,
because I think it it says it much more fancy
than I ever could, Rather than guards with guns, this
first border. If the EU is watched over by bureaucrats
armed with paper and entrenched in far away embassies. Through

this political technology, all citizens of a large group of
nations bart to view are blacklists. This means in practice
that most of the citizens of these blacklisted countries cannot
acquire the visas they require to legally travel to the EU.
The implication is that the paper border of the EU

remotely and invisibly cages people in the inequitable or tree
of birth end quote. I think it's very much worth
highlighting that if you're as we've established, unless you're like
wealthy or white, you cannot legally enter the e EU.

And even though our politicians keep saying no, no, we're
just against the illegals, now there is for a lot
of people there simply is no way to enter legally.
It's impossible, and it's a large part of the conversation
that we conveniently ignore because it doesn't fit like the
political narratives that people want to spread.

Speaker 1 (29:54):
Yeah, and of course most refugee conventions allow for people
to enter between ports of entry in whichever way they
can to claim asylum, Like one does not have to
and turn a certain way to claim asylum, despite what
the discourse might suggest.

Speaker 3 (30:09):
Yeah, and I think this border is like probably the
most overlooked because it doesn't create any dramatic pictures, right
it is indeed, it's just people sitting in an office
and looking at papers and deciding no. But these are
like in Dutch. Yeah, these are people working at the
immigration office. And these are the people who then decide
that's the only option for people is to go on

a boat. So these these are policies and the people
who are executing them are super crucial in enforcing people
onto dangerous.

Speaker 2 (30:42):
Routes exactly because there is no way to do it legally. Therefore,
I have to set foot on that soil and then
you know, apply for asylum because the other route is
like before I even tried, already closed off.

Speaker 3 (30:58):
Yeah, and I really like that term, the inequitable of birth.
We call it like support hides. Yeah, but it's one
of the most insane or like most fundamentally unjust things
that we see, that we are living with and that
we don't see or like that many people don't see.

So just because we were born, like I was born
in one of the richest countries of in the world.
My parents had a Dutch passport. That's how I got
a Dutch fasport. I did literally nothing to get that.
It is impossible for me to lose my Dutch passport.
I commit I can commit like the worst crimes and
they will not, you know, they will not lead me
to lose my passport. Whereas other people who are born

in countries where life expectancy is crazy low, or where
there's no healthcare or no proper education or jobs, they
too did absolutely nothing to be born there or to
be assigned to that nationality. And so somehow this border
and this passport is legitimizing the fact that some people
just die and we're fine with that, and other people

have insane privileges and opportunities, and the nationality is kind
of a justification because if you really think about it,
there is no reason why the midium wage in Ethiopia
should be lower than in the Netlands, Like there really isn't.
The only reason is that they have a different nationality,
and somehow that makes it normal. And it's just yeah,

it's just this injustice in just structures that are so
invisible and that are not questioned or talked about enough.
So I'm glad we're talking about it today.

Speaker 1 (32:39):
But yeah, good, it's such a stark reality when you
live on the border. That guy live on the US
Mexico border, and like what on earth, Like, you know,
the justification for being like oh yeah, this person should
arn less money and they can't come here, but you
can go down there and buy stuff at the same price, ake,
and that's fine, Like, it's totally fine. Yeah, An, we're

going to build a giant fuck off wall. And it's
just such when I spend a lot of time in
the more remote parts of the US border, and for
most of the time that border country to what you
might have seen on the news is a one meter
high cattle fence with a single strand above wire. And
it's so obviously just a light like very often cattle
will cross the border, and like they will have to

be herded back right, like the it's just a notional
line in the sand. When they built the border wall,
it really fucked up the migration habits of jaguars, bears, deer.
I've seen animals unable to comprehend. Like, but no, that's
where I go and get my water, right, Like, it's
such an arbitrary distinction that that results in so much cruelty.

Speaker 3 (33:46):
But we do build walls better than you.

Speaker 1 (33:49):
Yeah, that's a good segue to the European iron border.

Speaker 3 (33:52):
One thing we are more cruel at than the Americans.

Speaker 2 (33:56):
Yeah, yeah, it's finally something we can beat the American sets.

Speaker 1 (34:00):
I'm mad. We're working on it, believe me.

Speaker 2 (34:02):
Okay, well, not too hard. We want we want to
keep this trophy for a while.

Speaker 1 (34:08):
You know what else is competing to be the most
cruel Mick, No, it's it's it's potentially the production services
support this show. All right, we're back. We hope you

enjoyed those products and services. Hopefully it wasn't for like
a border surveillance technology or you know, something similar walls.

Speaker 2 (34:37):
Okay, so the next part is the Iron Border. This
is very similar to what people already think of, but
but somehow worse. The Iron Border is a collection of fences, walls,
barbed and razor wire, or even fortified enclaves such as
Suta and Melilla in Spain. Sorry for butchering those names.

It is both the Trent and a performance. It's meant
to project security for people within the walls. It shows
that EU uses an iron fist to protect Europeans from
irregular or illegal immigrant migration. What is more important to
highlight it also makes for very good outreach media for

right wing and fascist platforms. Refugees will continue to breach
those fences and the photographs and videos of it made
for very good propaganda about how borders need to be strengthened.
The fenced borders of Europe have increased from three hundred
kilometers in twenty fourteen to a shocking two thousand and

forty eight kilometers in twenty twenty two.

Speaker 1 (35:45):
Yeah, that's substantially than the US we have. Of course
it's America, so it's miles. But the most generous estimate,
based on pre existing war repairs Trump wall building is
seven hundred and forty eight miles. That was actually I
would say about seven hundred and fifty because I've seen
construction happening since then, so that's what like eleven hundred kilometers,

And it's you know, we're just just behalf of what
the EU has.

Speaker 3 (36:15):
And I think for me, like when I when I
was at the physical borders, like the border walls, I mean,
it feels like a military zone, like I was on
the Hungarian border. There's drones, there's super heavily weaponed soldiers
walking around, like helicopters flying around. It's like it's a
very intimidating feeling. But if you talk to the people

crossing the fence, the fence is kind of a joke
like you can just bring Yeah, you can just go
to a gardening shop and buy a stairs or like
a ladder and just put it over the fence. You
can buy a super simple scissor that you would use
in the garden to cut your vegetables and you kind
of cut the fence open with it. People were building tunnels,
like of course it is. It takes time to us

and it's so in that sense, it's it's a hindrance.

Speaker 1 (37:04):
But the entire.

Speaker 3 (37:05):
Promise that if a wall holl stop people is indeed,
it's just a political game, and the politicians know that
it's not true. It's it's just a way to show
how tough they are and how rough they are. And
at the same time, I think this is a good
one to instant some Palestine to the discussion. So most

of the European borders are equipped with razor wire, and
that is literally like knives wire, you know, like it
is like it's razors blades. Yeah, and this is designed
by the Israeli army and weapons industry, and the aim
of these this razor wire is to gut as deeply

as possible into people's skin without causing pain. So people
don't realize how realize how heavily wounded they are, in
order to make them bleed as much as possible. This
has been tested in Gas and it is really are
weal liked it, And now it's sold in Europe to
sometimes stuff the same people leaving Flea and Gaza trying

to reach Europe. So the border in one hand is
kind of useless, but at the same time it is
really built to be as cruel and as harmful as possible.
And I know a lot of people with a lot
of scars on their bodies just from those razor wires.

Speaker 1 (38:28):
Yeah, I think if we want to draw that connection further,
like Lbit Technologies has massive, multi tens of million dollar
contracts for border surveillance where I live. Right, the same
things that are surveilling people in Gaza are surveilling you
if you go for a hike in East County, San Diego,
they're also surveilling migrants. Right. The raiser ware that you

mentioned is everywhere out here. Right. It doesn't work, it
gets cut eventually, it gets blankets thrown over it, but
in the meantime it hurts people and the wall. It's right,
there's also walls between it's rail and Palestine, between Kurdistan
and Turkey. What they, at least these larger ones do

is is they force people. The US Wall is also
one that's entirely breachable. I've seen people climbing it. I've
seen people climbing again this week. I've seen people go
under it, I've seen people go through it. I've seen
people go around it. But what it does tend to
do is force people into the more remote areas where
they didn't build wall, and those areas are where you're
more likely to die. And every year that we've built

more wall, we've seen more deaths. And as someone who
engages in mutual aid, every year that they build more wall,
we have to think about where will people go, how
will they get there, what state will they be in,
How can we make this journey less deadly? And that
becomes harder and harder for us. You know, we did
a water drop on Sunday. It took us five hours

to hike a very small section of this trail that
people hiked in order to surrender themselves, just as they
would if they could come through a port of entry.
No more deadly.

Speaker 3 (40:00):
Yeah, I think that's kind of sum sort of most
migration policies or migration like obstacles to migration in Europe
as well, they don't actually stop migrants, but they do
hurt them, and they do push them into danger or actual.

Speaker 2 (40:16):
Deadly Yeah, because you're never going to stop it, but
you can use like quote unquote deterrens in the hopes
that will all slow down, but you're just going to
get people hurt and killed.

Speaker 3 (40:31):
Yea. Yeah, that is like how incredibly cynecle the border is.
I think that the main deterrence is the people dying,
and that this is part of the political game to
disencourage migrants.

Speaker 2 (40:48):
Yeah, and then you can and then you can use
other policies that we'll get to to present yourself as
the good guy for wanting to make sure that people
don't cross those walls or across the meta Seradian and
you can present yourself as the good guy trying to
prevent those steps that your policies are causing.

Speaker 1 (41:08):
I think that's why we're going to endit for today.
We'd plan for this to be a one part episode,
but we really enjoyed talking and we had a lot
in comment, so this is going to be a two parter.
Tomorrow we will be back to discuss the EU's external
border and how it has not one EU countries enforcing
its border in ways that are very detrimental, damaging and
deadly to migrants. So I hope you look forward to
that and we'll see you again tomorrow.

Speaker 3 (41:34):

Speaker 1 (41:34):
Everyone, it's me James, and I just wanted to read
you this today. I'm going to put it in our
episode this week because it's a cause that's important to us,
and so we thought it would be something that might
be important to you too as well. On the tenth
of June twenty twenty four, Leonard Peltier, an m robed
member of the Turtle Band of Chippewa of Lakota and
Ojibwai ancestry and the longest serving political prisoner in the

United States, will be appearing before the US Parole Commission
for the first time since two thousand. He faces staunch
opposition from the FBI and other law enforcement agencies due
to having allegedly killed two FBI agents in a firefight
on the twenty sixth of June nineteen seventy five, after
the agents appeared on reservation land to execute a pretextural warrant.

The initial firefight occurred during the quote reign of Terror
on Pine Ridge in the wake of the occupation of
Wounded Kney, a time of extreme violence when federal law
enforcement installed a puppet tribal chair and was arming vigilantes
who targeted Indigenous traditionalists every since leaving up to these events,
as well as subsequent investigation and mister Peltier's tradition, trial, conviction,

and sentencing were characterized by gross misconduct on the part
of law enforcement, the prosecution, and the courts. Mister Peltier's
co defendants were separately tried and acquitted on grounds of
self defense. Mister Peltier was railroaded, and his case is
tainted by discrimination at every level, ranging from the withholding
of exculpatory evidence to a torture and coercion of extradition

and trial witnesses, and from the refusal of the judge
to dismiss and vowedly racist Dura, to the apologetic gymnastics
of the courts affirming his convictions in the face of
meritorious legal challenges and admitted evidence ab outrageous government misdeeds.
Mister Peltier has been in prison for more than forty
eight years and he's almost eighty years old. He suffers

from chronic and potentially lethal conditions for which he receives
insufficient and substandard medical care. If you want to take
action to hashtag free Leonard Peltier, you can call the
US Parole Commission at two zero two three four six
seven zero zero zero. And if you'd like to find
more information on how to support, you can go to

this url. It's http colon slash slash n d NC
dot c c slash free Leonard Peltier. That's free l
e O n A R D P E l t
I e R, or you can follow n d N

Collective on social media for more ways to support him.
More information on Danna Peltier, listen to Margaret's podcast on
the Lakota Nation, a read in the Spirit of the
Crazy Horse by Peter Mathewson.

Speaker 4 (44:24):
It Could Happen Here as a production of cool Zone Media.
For more podcasts from cool Zone Media, visit our website
cool zonemedia dot com, or check us out on the
iHeartRadio app, Apple Podcasts, or wherever you listen to podcasts.
You can find sources for It could Happen Here, updated
monthly at cool Zonemedia dot com slash sources thanks for listening.

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