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The protection of nothing - Carol Gatt

Crew members of charity ships MV Lifeline, Sea-Watch 3 and Seefuchs protest against the government’s decision to stop operations of NGO vessels and search planes based on the island, outside the courts in Valletta. Photo: Matthew Mirabelli

Crew members of charity ships MV Lifeline, Sea-Watch 3 and Seefuchs protest against the government’s decision to stop operations of NGO vessels and search planes based on the island, outside the courts in Valletta. Photo: Matthew Mirabelli

I appeal to our government, and yes, I am Maltese born and bred, to stop this mad “protection of our border”. It is the protection of nothing when you allow the killing of people. The pursuit of life and better life needs to be given the respect it merits.

Our government is enabling and speeding up the destruction of life, life of people seeking life, seeking kindness from us, by right. They have a right to seek from us that which, through God’s blessing, was given us through no special effort of ours.

Wars as we see them these days are on a bigger, vaster scale than ever before. We are fully invested in killing, inventing better machinery to kill better and faster, and we do it remotely too, assuring that soldiers feel as if they are playing on PS5.

Money to back wars, taxes paid supposedly for countries’ betterments, is forthcoming, and yes, even Malta is helping out, don’t be fooled.

We are helping directly and in hidden ways, for bombs to fall on the heads of families in Syria, kids in Somalia, weddings and hospitals in Yemen, yes, our hands are not clean. Our government helps the US and the ‘coalition of terror’ made up of rich countries led by greed.

A big chunk of humanity is being led into refuge, all because of the rich countries’ attempt to control and oppress the poorer ones.

It has always been like this with human greed, but these days they offer you a different coloured screen to hide behind, telling us it is this country not that, which is attacking Yemen and they tell you it is to free the people of Iraq that we attacked them - killing over a million people and never getting to institute a shred of freedom as we understand.

This issue of confiscating ships that are used to save people would never exist if we were even slightly humane

So, with the propaganda machine blinding us all, we get to call this immense human river of displaced people, illegal, aliens, invaders, clandestine, undocumented and a host of other de-humanising words. A vocabulary that is intent on making people seem less than us, less worth the life they want to build.

It is a shame on our politicians, playing up to the flute of hate to garner votes. This issue of confiscating ships that are used to save people would never exist if we were even slightly humane.

I call on our politicians, of all parties, to re-evaluate.

Stop persecuting those who have conscience and are working to help those most in need. Stop helping warmongers, and profiteering from wars.

Stop befriending racists in the EU and stand up for what is right, not for what will get you to win the next election.Otherwise, democracy as we know it is just a faded dream that failed humanity in a big way.

More and more people in the world are facing wars, oppression, poverty and destruction in all its forms, including from climate change. You, a person with mind and heart, use both and think: what if it hit us? What would we have set as example for other people?

Will we find what we would be glad of, if we were treated the way we are treating refugees today? No one is assuring you that we are safe. You are part of a world that, for good and for bad, is one whole.

If you weren’t safe, if you were is such dire need that you would rather risk death at sea than remain in your country, what would you want to see?

A government confiscating the boat that could save you or a government refusing to use its resources to save you and your family?

People are coming here illegally because we, in our obtuse hypocrisy, have closed their means to access safety legally. We stop issuing visas to a country which runs into the rain of bombs we finance, we stop issuing visas and we stop direct flights to countries whose people could rightfully claim asylum from us, our protection.

So, then, how can we claim these migrants are “illegal”? It is us, rich, western countries, who are acting illegally and we need to face up to it. We are applying hypocritical policies violating rights while shouting out loud that we uphold these same rights.

So, let’s all look in the mirror – many of us have the pooch – all that extra food is, by right, somebody else’s lifeline. We are consuming what is not rightfully for us but for those dying for a crumb.

Joseph Muscat and all the ministers, Adrian Delia and your team, get your values reasserted.

This way of yours is criminal, even if it looks legal.

Carol Gatt is a wife and dedicated mother.

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