Tag Archives: refugee camp

Canada Builds Border Camp for Asylum Seekers Fleeing US

Hundreds of Haitians, fearful of deportation under President Donald Trump, have crossed the border to seek refugee status in Quebec

By Jessica Corbett, staff writer for Common Dreams. Published 8-9-2017

Thousands of asylum seekers have fled the U.S. for Quebec, Canada, in recent months because of U.S. President Donald Trump’s anti-immigrant statements and policies. (Photo: Morgan/Flickr/cc)

Canada’s military has troops assembling heated tents that will be capable of temporarily housing up to 500 asylum seekers who continue crossing into the country where it borders New York State.

“Around 250 asylum seekers are arriving each day in Montreal, the largest city in Canada’s mainly French-speaking province of Quebec,” Reuters reported on Wednesday. A spokesperson for the Canada Border Services Agency told CBC-Radio Canada there are currently 700 people waiting to be processed, and although the wait time is two or three days, the asylum seekers do not have access to beds. Continue reading


Trump’s Syrian “safe area” is just another wall

Without a true and robust commitment to save lives, Trump’s idea for a safe area in Syria looks more like a death trap.

By Bill Frelick. Published 3-21-2017 by openDemocracy

Photo: YouTube

Just as the Berlin Wall was the iconic symbol of the Cold War era, so the emblematic symbol of President Donald Trump’s administration, if he has his way, could well be the Mexican wall. It represents a simplistic, concrete solution to a complex human problem, but also, like the Berlin Wall, a fitting symbol for the larger Trump doctrine.

Trump’s wall concept goes beyond the US-Mexico border. He speaks favorably of Israel’s separation wall and Hungary’s border fence.

Although he has yet to comment on the wall Turkey is constructing on its border with Syria, Trump has said, “I think Europe has made a tremendous mistake by allowing in these millions of people. Continue reading


CIA-Armed Syrian Rebel Group Just Beheaded a 10-Year-Old Boy on Video

By Claire Bernish. Published 7-19-2016 by The Anti-Media

Photo: Screenshot via Twitter

Photo: Screenshot via Twitter

Handarat, Syria — One of several U.S.-backed Syrian rebel groups has been caught on video taunting—and then beheading—a boy as young as 10 years old.

They claim the youth was a captured Palestinian fighting on behalf of pro-government forces—but his extremely young age, and the fact the group has received training and aid in financing and weapons from the United States government, could incite profoundly negative consequences in a situation already fraught with controversy. Continue reading


The War in Afghanistan Has Turned a Generation of Children Into Heroin Addicts

By Michaela Whitton. Published 5-9-2016 by The Anti-Media

By davric (collection personnelle) [Public domain], via Wikimedia Commons

By davric (collection personnelle) [Public domain], via Wikimedia Commons

One of the many catastrophic legacies left behind by the longest war in U.S. history is that Afghanistan produces 90% of the world’s opium. As with most parts of the world, the most vulnerable pay the heaviest price of war, and the country has faced a harrowing escalation in the number of child heroin addicts.

“What’s happened in Afghanistan over the last 13 years has been the flourishing of a narco-state that is really without any parallel in history,” Kabul-based journalist Matthieu Aikins told Democracy Now back in 2014. Continue reading


Why fear makes for bad policy

By ew and MNgranny for Occupy World Writes. Published 11-20-2015

If you follow us regularly, you’ve probably noticed that we try to stay as apolitical as possible. We feel that our job is to provide news and viewpoints that you may not see covered in the traditional corporate media while not providing unnecessary political spin on current events.

However, every once in a while, an event or series of events happen that force us to ditch our “above the fray” stance and dive into the mud ourselves, either as individuals or collectively as Occupy World Writes. We have been known to hit our boiling point, either individually as authors of pieces or collectively as the Occupy World Writes staff. The events in this country after the Paris attacks are the latest to affect us in this manner.

Photo via YouTube

Photo via YouTube

It started last Sunday, with Governors Rick Snyder (R-MI) and Robert Bentley (R-AL) proclaiming that they would not allow Syrian refugees to be relocated to their respective states. As it sits now, a total of 31 states have stated that they refuse to allow Syrian refugees to relocate to their states. 30 of these states have Republican governors; the one exception (New Hampshire) has a governor with an eye on a Senate seat next year. Of course, they legally don’t have a leg to stand on, as the federal government make the laws dealing with refugees and immigration, and not the individual states.

As the week went on, the Republican candidates for president began to jockey for the spotlight. For example, back in February in an interview with Fox News, Ted Cruz said that Syrian refugees should be permitted into the United States and argued that this could be done without jeopardizing national security. This week, he said that we should allow only Syrian refugees who are Christian into the country (we wonder how we could tell who was Christian). Chris Christie went from saying that women and children should be let in to becoming one of the governors to say no to relocation. The rest of the candidates followed suit. Then, the real crazies , presidential candidates and state legislators alike, started stepping up to the plate.

On Tuesday, Tennessee House GOP Caucus Chairman Glen Casada said:

“We need to activate the Tennessee National Guard and stop them from coming in to the state by whatever means we can. I’m not worried about what a bureaucrat in D.C. or an unelected judge thinks. … We need to gather (Syrian refugees) up and politely take them back to the ICE center and say, ‘They’re not coming to Tennessee, they’re yours.’ “

Not to be outdone, Rhode Island State Senator Elaine Morgan sent an email to her fellow senators on Tuesday saying:

“I do not want our governor bringing in any Syrian refugees. I think our country is under attack. I think this is a major plan by these countries to spread out their people to attack all non Muslim persons. The Muslim religion and philosophy is to murder, rape, and decapitate anyone who is a non Muslim. 

“If we need to take these people in we should set up [a] refugee camp to keep them segregated from our populous. I think the protection of our US citizens and the United States of America should be the most important issue here.”

On Wednesday, she claimed that she inadvertently sent it before editing, saying she meant to limit her characterization to “the fanatical Muslim religion and philosophy.” Then, she said:

“We have veterans in the streets starving, alcoholics, drug addicts. I can see taking [Syrian refugees] in, but keeping them all centralized – it sounds a little barbaric, but we need to centralize them and keep them in one central area.”

So- we have the chairman of the most powerful caucus in his state’s legislature saying that we should round up all the Syrian refugees who are legally here, and a state senator saying that we should put them all in camps. Then, we have the two front runners for the Republican presidential nomination; Dr. Ben Carson and Donald Trump.

Carson, while speaking to reporters after an Alabama campaign stop, said:

“For instance, you know, if there is a rabid dog running around your neighborhood, you’re probably not going to assume something good about that dog, and you’re probably gonna put your children out of the way. Doesn’t mean that you hate all dogs by any stretch of the imagination.”

“By the same token, we have to have in place screening mechanisms that allow us to determine who the mad dogs are, quite frankly. Who are the people who wanna come in here and hurt us and wanna destroy us? Until we know how to do that, just like it would be foolish to put your child out in the neighborhood knowing that that was going on, it’s foolish for us to accept people if we cannot have the appropriate type of screening.”

OK- the person holding second place in the polls for the GOP nomination just compared Muslims to dogs, the most offensive remark one could make to a Muslim. What does the leader, Donald Trump, have to say?

Earlier this week, Trump said in an interview with Sean Hannity that the government should shut down some Muslim mosques. Then today, an interview was published on Yahoo which implied that Trump was contemplating creating a national database to track Muslims in this country, as well as possibly requiring special IDs for them. While the ID part seems to be more the interviewer’s own take than anything that Trump actually said, the database part was confirmed by Trump himself this evening in Newton, Iowa.

“I would certainly implement that. Absolutely, There should be a lot of systems, beyond databases, We should have a lot of systems.”

But would Muslims be legally required to sign onto the database? Trump again:

“They have to be — they have to be.”

We have said before, and we repeat now, that those who do not study history are doomed to repeat it. We ask you all to read the 14 points of fascism, and then take an honest look at the current situation. If you aren’t frightened by the similarities, you aren’t paying attention.

The goal is not to put more boots on the ground. It is not to see where the next profit center of war should be contested. It is about saving lives. Human lives. When we can refer to refugees from a country that has been at war for over 5 years to that of dogs, and talk of rounding them up like farm livestock, we have truly forgotten our values, morals and principles as a nation and no longer deserve to be called “civilized.”


Refugees Left Stranded As Europe Faces ‘Crisis of Political Will’

‘You aren’t going to solve these problems by closing borders.’—Adrian Edwards, UN refugee office

By Andrea Germanos, staff writer for Common Dreams. Published 9-18-2015

Refugees wait at a registration point in Preševo, Serbia on 10 August 2015. (Photo: Stephen Ryan / IFRC via flickr)

Refugees wait at a registration point in Preševo, Serbia on 10 August 2015. (Photo: Stephen Ryan / IFRC via flickr)

As Hungary on Friday said that it was constructing another razor wire fence, this time along its border with Croatia, a humanitarian aid organization is stressing that what the European continent is facing is not a refugee crisis but a crisis of political will.

The new barriers for the refugees come as Turkish state media said Friday that the body of a four-year-old Syrian girl’s body washed up on a beach, just weeks after the body of 3-year-old Aylan Kurdi washed ashore, the image of which captured global headlines. Continue reading


Thousands Reach Austria as Refugee Crisis Issues ‘Wake-up Call’

‘This has to be an eye-opener on how messed up the situation in Europe is now’

By Andrea Germanos, staff writer for Common Dreams. Published 9-5-2015

Refugees continue towards Austria from Budapest. image credit @nabihbulos

Refugees continue towards Austria from Budapest. image credit @nabihbulos

Thousands of refugees were welcomed into Austria on Saturday after epic journeys from Hungary that many were forced to begin to take on foot.

As USA Today reports,

Hungary, which had spent days stopping migrants from leaving by train, provided buses to take them into Austria. The government relented under international pressure and after desperate refugees who had camped out at the Budapest train station simply began walking toward the border.

Continue reading


Global Response to People Fleeing Ravages of War: ‘Callous Indifference,’ Humanitarian Failure

Boat tragedy in Libya, corpses of refugees in truck in Austria reminders of human cost of war, lack of humanitarian responses

By Andrea Germanos, staff writer for Common Dreams. Published 8-28-2015

A Syrian father carries his daughter on 8 August 2015 to Gevgelija train station in the Former Yugoslav Republic of Macedonia where they will register with the authorities before proceeding north towards Serbia. (Photo: Stephen Ryan / IFRC via flickr)

A Syrian father carries his daughter on 8 August 2015 to Gevgelija train station in the Former Yugoslav Republic of Macedonia where they will register with the authorities before proceeding north towards Serbia. (Photo: Stephen Ryan / IFRC via flickr)

It’s a crisis of record proportions that is being met with global “callous indifference” and failed, dehumanizing responses, human rights experts say.

The crisis, described as Europe’s worst refugee crisis since World War Two, involves hundreds of thousands of people fleeing conflict, many from Syria, Afghanistan, and Pakistan, trying to reach safety in Europe.

For some, the journey reaches a fatal end. As the Associated Press notes, the deaths come “by land and sea.”

Continue reading


Refugee Numbers Break New Record With ‘Millions Trapped in Conflict Zones’

New figures from Norwegian Refugee Council reveal 38 million people internally displaced in 2014 alone

Written by Sarah Lazare, staff writer for Common Dreams. Published May 7, 2015

An aerial view of the Ifo 2 Refugee Camp in Dadaab, Kenya October 29, 2014. (Photo: United Nations/flickr/cc)

An aerial view of the Ifo 2 Refugee Camp in Dadaab, Kenya October 29, 2014. (Photo: United Nations/flickr/cc)

As wars raged in 2014, an estimated 38 million people across the world were “forced to flee their homes by conflict and violence,” setting a new record high for internal displacement, according to just-released figures compiled by the Norwegian Refugee Council’s Internal Displacement Monitoring Center (IDMC).

“Never in the last 10 years of IDMC’s global reporting, have we reported such a high estimate for the number of people newly displaced in a year,” said the organization, noting that their data indicate that, on average, 30,000 people fled their homes each day last year.

These figures, however, strictly reflect internal displacement—those who stay within state borders—and do not include refugees forced to leave their countries. Continue reading


Roads to Damascus

This photograph, taken on January 31 and released by UNRWA on February 26, shows the grim reality for those trapped inside the neighborhood of Damascus' Yarmouk Refugee Camp. Photo courtesy United Nation News Centre via Facebook. Read more: http://www.smh.com.au/world/portrait-of-despair-thousands-queue-for-un-food-parcels-in-yarmouk-damascus-20140227-hve0b.html#ixzz2uX0i9hoh

This photograph, taken on January 31 and released by UNRWA on February 26, shows the grim reality for those trapped inside Damascus’ Yarmouk Refugee Camp. Photo courtesy United Nation News Centre via Facebook.

United Nations Relief and Works Agency (UNRWA) workers were met with the faces of deprivation, misery and despair when they were finally able to arrive at Yarmouk Refugee Camp just 5 miles from the center of Damascus recently. The camp had been under a month-long blockade by the Syrian government, claiming the food and supplies would benefit the opposition.

Forces loyal to Syria’s president killed at least 175 Islamist rebel fighters, most of them foreigners, in an ambush in insurgent-held eastern outskirts of Damascus, state media said on Wednesday, in a report from Eye Witness News in Beirut. The attack was carried out by Hezbollah forces, working with supporters of the Asaad regime.

In Raqqa, an extremist jihadist group has declared an open war on Christians, passing local laws requiring them to pay a tax in gold for their safety or face death.  In a report from BBC, revealing a statement from ISIS, additionally “Christians must not make renovations to churches, display crosses or other religious symbols outside churches, ring church bells or pray in public. Christians must not carry arms, and must follow other rules imposed by ISIS (also known as ISIL) on their daily lives. The statement said the group had met Christian representatives and offered them three choices – they could convert to Islam, accept ISIS’ conditions, or reject their control and risk being killed. “If they reject, they are subject to being legitimate targets, and nothing will remain between them and ISIS other than the sword,” the statement said.”

The now 3-year civil war has claimed over 140,000 lives and left hundreds of thousands homeless or fleeing. The struggle began in March 2011 with street demonstrations demanding democratic reform, but turned into an armed uprising after security forces used violence to quell the protesters. There are three distinct groups at war; the Assad regime which represents Iran, terrorist groups like al-Qaeda, and the Free Syrian Army, which is considered the only hope for a united and acceptable Syria. The triangulation of these forces has caught the people of Syria in the crossfire.

Image by User:NordNordWest [CC-BY-SA-3.0 (http://creativecommons.org/licenses/by-sa/3.0)], via Wikimedia Commons, updated Jan. 2014 by Spesh531.

Image by User:NordNordWest [CC-BY-SA-3.0], via Wikimedia Commons, updated Jan. 2014 by Spesh531.

The Free Syrian Army (FSA), in simplistic terms, sprang up as a protection army at the beginning of the conflict. At first, the combination of various factions coming together resulted in some actions by FSA that were seen as possible war crimes. In August of 2012, the FSA announced that, in response to international concerns, FSA units would follow the Geneva Convention’s guidelines for the treatment of prisoners.

Northern Syria is home to a population of Kurds. These people have also been persecuted beyond belief.  Syrian Kurds are part of what has been identified internationally as the world’s largest population with absolutely no country to call home. Syria, to the Kurdistan people, is called Rojava, or western Kurdistan, as distinct from northern Kurdistan, the Kurdish area in Turkey; southern Kurdistan, the Kurdish area in Iraq; and eastern Kurdistan, the Kurdish area in Iran. There are approximately 15 million Kurds living in these areas combined.

Occupy World Writes reaffirms our solidarity with the Syrian people, the Kurdish people throughout the world, and all those who seek democratic change. We support non-violent actions leading to change whenever possible, and we recognize self-protection and preservation as legitimate and acceptable means while rejecting assertive, aggressive acts of violence against anyone.