Translated from Charyta Virgillia in the Netherlands:
Protest against slavery in Libya
Tuesday, November 28, 2017, 5:00 PM
Black refugees are held in concentration camps in Libya and even traded as slaves. When images of this European Union-encouraged policy spread last week, people across Europe went out into the streets. Similarly in The Hague last Saturday.
The protest was organized by two people who wanted to make their voice heard via Facebook, but more people joined quickly. The plan was to march from the Malieveld to the embassy of Libya, as is customary in other European countries, but this was forbidden by the mayor of The Hague. There was a lot of police, in the beginning there were more police than demonstrators.
The first speaker, Tob Juland, sang the anti-apartheid song Asimbonanga. The next speakers included Alphonse Muambi who made the link with [Dutch Prime Minister] Rutte, who in his opinion is partly responsible for this human trafficking. The Rutte-backed war in Libya in 2011 is the reason for the situation in Libya. In combination with the deals that the EU concludes with states such as Libya to stop refugees. One lady bursts into tears while speaking. She spoke French, but everyone understood her: everyone could feel her emotion, frustration, fear and anger.
Western countries rob and still destroy African countries. They do this undisturbed. Refugees want to go to Europe for a better life because of the consequences. This is one of the reasons why we can not refuse refugees: because we destroy their countries.
The [paramilitary] forces in Libya seem to be able to do what they like. For example, there are also stories about the trade in organs into which refugees are forced. How bad do the images have to be in Libya before it is stopped? Many speakers spoke out against the trade of refugees as slaves and the silence about this in the media. As one speaker said, the ass of a Dutch dog is treated even better than African youth.
Bouba Koné of the Collective of the African Diaspora in the Netherlands stated afterwards: ‘There is a front arising of African youth in the Netherlands who feel the duty to distribute information that is not covered in the mainstream media. Many white Dutch people also state that the situation in Libya can not continue. The problem, and therefore the solution, must come from two sides: from Africa itself and from countries such as the Netherlands in which established politics creates this policy.’
Protests like those last Saturday in The Hague – or the much bigger protests in Brussels and London last weekend – are necessary to draw attention to what is happening in Libya. The protests point out the EU’s responsibility for this drama: its war policy, Fortress Europe and spending money in Turkey and Libya to keep refugees outside the EU. This policy not only leads to terrible human rights violations, but also legitimizes the racism and nationalism of the extreme right.
Let your voice be heard and sign the petition of the Collective of the African Diaspora in the Netherlands (CADN).