The vote on Libya is an obscene plebiscite

Pierpaolo ScavuzzoPierpaolo Scavuzzo / AGF

Rome 15/02/2020, national assembly of the Italian Left. In the photo Nichi Vendola

With eyes closed and by an overwhelming majority, at the request of the “blindfolded” government of national unity, our deputies yesterday voted to refinance that mission which entrusts the dirty work of sheriff and executioner of the sea to Libya. An obscene plebiscite, a vote that speaks of a void: void of historical analysis and planning vision, distracted farewell from the imperatives of the culture of peace, from the primacy “no ifs and buts” of human rights, from that millennial secular prophecy that exhorts to welcoming and caring for the life of others.

Blindfolded, happy, reticent, blinded by the realpolitik of a public sphere regressed in values, symbols, vocabulary, emotions: yesterday Parliament was the image of a politics incapable of hope. Once the “beautiful flags” (as Pasolini would say) of the great twentieth-century narratives have been lowered, in this kind of post-history in which we float, the blindfold is the new banner, the cockade, the banner of the present, let’s even say of the dictatorship of the present.

The blindfold helps us not to see what is uncomfortable to see, it allows us to say without saying too much, it facilitates us in the rhetorical sublimation of horror, it makes us walk like sleepwalkers when we sell weapons to murderous regimes, it encourages us never to resign from the supreme rule of business, of the primacy of homo oeconomicus, of democracy transformed into a chamber of commerce. Of course, we will be saddened by the eternal punishment of the 45 days of Zaki, our wonderful boy kidnapped by Al Sisi and his executioners, as we will complain about the imperfect crime of our Giulio Regeni and the misdirection of the State that murdered him, but we will do nothing that jeopardizes our business in the land of the pharaohs. Not many decades have passed since human rights were the pretext for new oil and imperial wars. Today, in the face of the full-blown catastrophe of that recent war epic, human rights are sold at flea markets.

Italy invests tens of millions of euros to train the Libyan Coast Guard which in recent years and with our money has learned the humanitarian art of ramming refugee ships, has exhibited undoubted competence in firing at unarmed and fleeing people, has demonstrated efficiency in capturing men, women and children, in deporting them to those detention centers which are places of horror, torture, rape, abuse, disappearance. Superlative is the hypocrisy of those who want to fight human traffickers by blocking refugees, criminalizing migrants, sinking their boats, blocking escape routes, not providing humanitarian corridors, that is, ultimately punishing the victims of those traffickers and financing the their cronies in uniform. That humanity bought and sold seeks salvation from bad luck at sea, but there is no worse fate than the recoil that can bury them in a Libyan concentration camp.

We cannot turn around this truth: we pay Libya to take away the inconvenience, to clean up the mare nostrum from the waste of humanity adrift, we do it on behalf of Europe and a limited number of civilizations. We do this by outsourcing our borders, delegating the protection of our borders at sea to a pirate police from another nation. We do this by blindfolding ourselves in the face of timely and documented investigations that prove the systematic violations of human rights by the sentries we have hired. In the last 4 years, Italy has spent 20 million euros in favor of the self-styled Libyan coast guard, resources that we could have invested to save and not to submerge lives. As long as the migratory phenomena are dealt with as a matter of public order and consequent repressive contrast, the traffickers of human beings will do good business, the xenophobes will sow their poisons in politics and society, the poor people fleeing misery and pain will continue to be shipwrecked in the waters of the Mediterranean. For this it is urgent to remove the blindfold. To make room for the truth and not to be shipwrecked, as happened with yesterday’s vote, in the sea of ​​half-truths and whole lies.

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