I am because we are

Anoushka Carter’s article reflects on the desire to challenge the status quo and establish better social justice for everyone. She focuses on the Global Justice Now’s movement towards a more just world and how you can be a part of achieving that.

Edited by Isabel Aruna.

By Emily Seffar
‘Migration, Inequality and Injustice’ By Emily Seffar

We have more in common than what divides us. However, today we are seeing the political tactic of ‘divide and conquer’ succeed in breaking apart the threads of a compassionate civil society; this was revealed by the refugee crisis,  a time of unprecedented human displacement. The idea of ‘us’ and ‘them’, we view ourselves as the    victims, the  taxpayers with overburdened public services. They are the predators who have come to sponge off my hard work; this mindset is the perfect set-up for divisiveness. Britain has a history of providing refuge for victims of war, but the shocking newspaper headlines and the rhetoric of politicians are dehumanising the people most  in need. Civilians facing the atrocities of war, resource exploitation, climate change and economic hardship in their homelands is causing unbearable pain and suffering. Their governments have failed them and so, the people that can battle extraordinary journeys across land and water for refuge. Though when these people reach Europe, a different kind of battle awaits them; one that perpetuates throughout their journeys, right onto your doorstep.

Hostility towards foreigners dehumanises us all. It instils an atmosphere of fear towards migrants who have experienced horrible  events; it  triggers a rejection of human compassion and empathy. It is considered that apathy to foreigner’s struggles is alright because your life is worth more. That your happiness shouldn’t be compromised by people coming to seek safety, shelter and peace, wanting  to find a life like your own.  So why is it when sentient beings begin to move into lands, closer to our home, that they face the wrath of hostility, persecution and rejection? Vindicated and reduced to an economic migrant, or worse. Diplomacy is failing these foreigners, but this does not mean that fellow human beings should fail them too.

Can a person claim themselves to be truly free while there is oppression and in justice in the world? An African Ubuntu saying is, “I am because we are”  reflects the notion that injustice anywhere is injustice everywhere. Though, this does not have to appear as an abstract or unsolvable problem. Yes, these are issues of political warfare, climate change and economic inequality, but on a local scale, the scale that matters most, we  ca n  imp act the lives of others . Changing a life will change their world and will connect you to what it is to be human, and today, that is a precious thing.

If you wish to do something, to stop feeling powerless, then you should know that no act of compassion is too small. The Falmouth Global Justice Youth Network is part of a nationwide community of campaigners for global equality. The Youth Network is a part of the NGO Global Justice Now and has full support from its staff and resources.  We are currently putting our energy into collaborating with the Hope Not Hate anti-racism campaign and other events such as a film night on the 16th of February. We are also holding a post-Christmas donation drive of any unwanted presents that would suit the needs of the refugee community which can be sent to the Dunkirk refugee camp and charities in Greece. There are ways to make refugees feel more human, giving  clothing and food is a good place to start. If you’re interested, please contact ac636@exeter.ac.uk or search for our Facebook page.

'Refugees Welcome Projection the WWhite Cliffs of Dove' By Jess Hurd/Global Justice Now
‘Refugees Welcome Projection the White Cliffs of Dove’ By Jess Hurd/Global Justice Now